Page last updated at 10:21 GMT, Thursday, 3 September 2009 11:21 UK

Bridge will be England's tallest

Planned Sunderland bridge
The planned bridge will cost 104m to build

A planned new bridge across the River Wear in Sunderland will be the tallest in England, councillors have been told.

The cable-stayed structure, which could cost up to £133m would be 590ft (180m) high and 1,102ft (336m) long.

It would link Wessington Way on the north side of the river to Pallion New Road on the south.

A report to councillors says the bridge towers would be higher than those of Dartford's Queen Elizabeth II bridge and both Severn crossing bridges.

Both the Queen Elizabeth II Bridge and the second Severn crossing are 449ft (137m) high, while the first Severn bridge is 445ft (136m) high.

'Striking design'

The new Sunderland bridge has been described as a "landmark" structure which would help create jobs and attract businesses.

Council bosses say the new bridge is needed to cope with growing traffic congestion on approach roads into Sunderland city centre.

They have been told the bridge can be built to cost and on time.

The economic benefits, construction plans and financial costs for the bridge and its approach roads are being discussed by Sunderland Council's cabinet on 9 September.

Subject to further funding decisions, the city council is planning to contribute £23m towards the project, with the government providing the rest.

A council spokesman said: "The bridge's striking design was first proposed by local architect Stephen Spence and structural engineers Techniker.

"Further detailed construction and maintenance plans have now been drawn up by Mr Spence and Techniker, reviewed by the council, and are part of the report to the cabinet."

A date for construction has yet to be determined.



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