The 336m-long structure long structure, designed by local architect Stephen Spence with engineers Techniker, would link Pallion and North Hylton.
At 190m high, the new Wear bridge will be the highest in England.
The value of the construction contract is estimated as between £75m and £110m.
The bridge forms part of the council’s Sunderland strategic transport corridor (SSTC) project to open up and link major regeneration sites in the city.
The council hopes that construction will start in October 2012 and be completed three years later.
For further tender details, see our Contract Leads section.