The £31m pedestrian and cyclist crossing will connect the former Vaux Brewery site to Sheepfolds, providing improved links to the Stadium of Light, the two University of Sunderland campuses in the city centre, and residential areas to the north of the river.
It will feature creative lighting and augmented reality, enabling users to access virtual displays on their smart phones.
Councillor Graeme Miller, leader of Sunderland City Council, said: “This street bridge represents a hugely significant piece of infrastructure that will bring together both sides of the river, something that is critical to our vision of creating a vibrant mixed-use community spanning the north and south of the Wear.
“However, we’re determined to create a bridge that brings to life the ambition of the city, so integrating light, smart technology and excellent design will make this a really experience-led crossing, that will deliver a visual treat for people using it.
“The city was named Smart City 2020, so it is apt that we integrate this into our developments to enrich our spaces and create a place that is future-focused and dynamic. That is exactly what this bridge will be.”
There are two main stages of work, the first involving a detailed rehearsal of the build process. Construction of the bridge will start in summer 2022, with completion expected in summer 2024.
VolkerStevin managing director Jonathan Suckling said: “We have assembled a great team of designers and supply chain who will help us deliver this significant project and further build on our legacy of delivering major infrastructure schemes in the North East – which include other iconic bridges, such as the Gateshead Millennium Bridge and Northumbria University’s Intersite Bridge.”
Wear Bridge was one of the first contracts to be procured through the new NEPO civil engineering and infrastructure framework.