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Gehry back in running as Sunderland river crossing saga rolls on

The shortlist for a competition to design a new River Wear crossing in Sunderland was announced on Monday. The move heralds another twist in the continuing saga surrounding the design of the proposed bridge.

Just 12 months ago it seemed Frank Gehry had been lined up to mastermind the £43 million scheme (AJ 11.3.04) - part of the wider Sunderland Strategic Transport Corridor initiative to regenerate the area.

Gehry is again among the frontrunners to design the new structure - this time with WS Atkins Consultants and Schlaich Bergermann und Partner.

Five other designers are vying for job: Wilkinson Eyre with Gifford & Partners;

Dissing+Weitling Arkitektfirma with Halcrow Group and the Flint & Neill Partnership; Yee Associates and Hyder Consulting (UK); Marks Barfield Architects with Jacobs Babtie and Leonhardt Andra und Partner; and Spence Associates with Techniker.

A spokesman said: 'Sunderland City Council and the Sunderland arc regeneration agency are looking forward to seeing how the teams respond to the design brief.

'This calls for a landmark structure that, as well as putting Sunderland on the map, will act as a gateway to the city centre and lead to urban regeneration.' Design proposals from the shortlisted consortia have to be submitted by late May.

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