Sunderland Council has approved its preferred design for the foot and cycle bridge close to the Stadium of Light. The plan includes £31m (€33.6m) investment with the main aim of improving the safety for the supporters reaching the venue on matchdays.
The bridge would connect the former Vaux Brewery site on the south bank of the Wear to Sheepfolds on the north. It would enable safer travel for supporters walking from Sunderland city centre to the Stadium of Light on match days. Representatives of the Sunderland City Council agreed the next steps to move the project forward. It allows construction works to start as soon as possible. The new facility will be opened in the first half of 2023.
The bridge is part of the regeneration scheme for the banks of the Wear and the city centre. It also includes new houses, offices and a library.
Councillor Rebecca Atkinson from the Sunderland City Council explained:
The bridge essentially binds the development areas within riverside together and will, alongside other infrastructure investments such as 5G, increase the pace of this transformational change leading to increased private sector activity and so achieving the Riverside Sunderland goal of 1,000 new homes and 10,000 new jobs.
New investment will play a crucial role from a safety perspective.
Many people who have gone to the match, myself included, have diced with death sometimes as one of the lanes is closed on the Wearmouth Bridge. Atkinson added.
Stadium of Light is the home of Sunderland AFC, inaugurated in 1997. Further £7m (€7.6m) was spent by the club in 2002 to expand the ground to the capacity below 49,000.
Author: Karol Tatar