The first steel section of a town's long-awaited third crossing is set to be moved and lifted into place this weekend.

Another significant milestone in the construction of the £126.75m Gull Wing bridge in Lowestoft will see major works take centre stage from Saturday morning.

Eastern Daily Press: The ?126.75m Gull Wing bridge in LowestoftThe ?126.75m Gull Wing bridge in Lowestoft (Image: Mick Howes)

For the North Approach Viaduct (NAV-1) section – the first section of the bridge for the northern approach crossing the railway line in Lowestoft - will be lifted into place during a special operation that is expected to take more than 50 hours.

Weighing 380 tonnes and being 55m long, it arrived in Lowestoft in March on a barge following a 32-hour crossing from Ghent in Belgium.

Fabricated by Victor Buyck Steel Construction, NAV-1 was moved to a special temporary platform within the Commercial Road work zone, and after its arrival a concrete slab deck layer was "successfully completed" and cast in situ.

Preparatory work started the week beginning Sunday, September 18, which involved ground excavation and laying material to build up an even surface so NAV-1 can be transported across the area before being lifted into its final, permanent position.

The much-needed Gull Wing third crossing - which will cross Lake Lothing and link Waveney Drive to Denmark Road and Peto Way - has been hailed as "an iconic and important bridge for Lowestoft," which is being delivered by Suffolk County Council and built by Farrans Construction.

With the £126.75m Gull Wing bridge due to open in 2023, it aims to reduce traffic congestion in Lowestoft, regenerate the area and attract new investment for the local economy.

A Suffolk County Council spokesman said: “The NAV1 section will, once in position, sit atop Pier 7 and the North Abutment, going over the East Suffolk railway line and will be installed during the weekend of October 22 and 23, commencing midnight on Friday October 21.

“This operation will take place within a 52-hour shutdown of the railway, which will require rail journeys to and from Lowestoft railway station to be replaced by a bus service, and we would advise passengers to check the Greater Anglia website before travelling to see if their journey is affected.

“We thank the public for their ongoing support and patience as work continues to progress on the Gull Wing bridge crossing, which, once complete, will bring huge benefits to the town of Lowestoft and the surrounding area.”