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£40m River Thames bridge project announced

Bids are now being accepted for a £40 million project to build a new bridge on the River Thames. The plan, which has been given the green light by Wandsworth Council, will see Nine Elms on the South Bank district connected with the historic Pimlico embankment area to the north.Although the exact location of the structure has yet to be announced, the preferred option is close to the new US Embassy. Architects are being invited to offer their designs and the official launch could get underway this year. It forms part of a £2 billion infrastructure package that is designed to transform Nine Elms into a new Zone One transport hub complete with two new Northern Line tube stops. As part of the construction scheme, 3,000 affordable homes and 45,000 jobs will be created.The project is being funded through an increase in business rates and income generated through a series of private developments in Nine Elms."This will be a new bridge at the centre of the world's greatest city so the design standard has to be exceptional. It will be a dream commission for the winning architect but to succeed they will have to meet some very unique challenges and expectations," said Ravi Govindia, leader of Wandsworth Council.He added the winning design will have to inspire Londoners, who he said are very proud of the heritage of the River Thames. Mr Govindia also thinks the bridge has the potential to become a "powerful icon" for the redevelopment of the Nine Elms area.  The bridge forms part of a wider programme of construction, which includes the creation of two new Tube stops, two riverbus piers and remodelled streets based on cycle-friendly Dutch designs.The final plan needs sign-off approval from the mayor of London before work can get underway. 

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