PLANS to build England’s tallest bridge in Sunderland have moved a step closer to becoming reality.
Council bosses revealed a planning application to build a new iconic bridge over the River Wear could be submitted as soon as November.
Crossing the river from Castletown on the north side to Pallion on the south, the cable-stay bridge would have two soaring and curving masts with the taller western mast rising to 180metres.
This is higher than the Queen Elizabeth II Bridge in Dartford, the Humber Bridge and both Severn crossing bridges. The height of the bridge will be emphasised by its reflection in the river.
The council’s leader, Coun Paul Watson yesterday said the landmark bridge would be a “people’s bridge” as there was support for it across the city.
Last year there was a major public consultation exercise across Sunderland that showed people were in favour of having a landmark bridge.
Coun Watson said: “The people’s bridge will be a distinctive new symbol for the city, help raise Sunderland's profile and the potential for greater prosperity and further regeneration along the river corridor, and in the city centre. It will be a functional landmark for regeneration.”
Work on the bridge, designed by North East-based architect Stephen Spence and structural engineers Techniker, could begin in 2012 with completion by 2014.