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To completely cock-up a design competition once is unfortunate.

To do it twice - on the same project - takes real skill. A small drum roll, then, for Sunderland City Council and the longawaited River Wear Crossing.

First it bungled the appointment of Frank Gehry, and now there's an impenetrable smokescreen surrounding the latest bridge designs by Spence Associates and engineer Techniker.

Rumours are that the as-yetunseen scheme, which was chosen ahead of five others back in September, exceeds the council's budget. Insiders say this is just the tip of the iceberg.

Watch this space for more. . .

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