Consulting engineer WSP has been awarded the design contract by Cambridgeshire County Council. It is to work to a concept prepared by Knight Architects.
A planning application for the bridge is due to be submitted in 2019.
WSP will explore the use of composite materials for the bridge deck and parapets to create ‘a bridge fit for the future’.
The bridge will span the river by two scheduled ancient monuments – St Neots Priory and The Maltings.
Councillor Ian Bates, chair of the council’s economy and environment committee, said: “The new foot and cycle bridge will link up key destinations in St Neots and make it easier and safer for walkers and cyclists to get around the town.
“The suspension bridge that WSP are designing will be elegant and environmentally considerate, which will work well at the chosen location. We want to encourage more people to get out of their cars – and this bridge will provide a safer, traffic-free route across the river, as well as improving infrastructure and bringing economic prosperity to the town.