A further £5m will need to be paid to a new company to operate Great Yarmouth's troubled Herring Bridge once it has been up and running for a year.

Norfolk County Council has spent £121m on the town's third river crossing, hit by delays during construction and 'teething troubles' since opening at the start of February.

And once the construction and operating contract for the bridge ends in February next year, County Hall will have to pay millions for a new company to take over its running.

The council plans to tender for a 10-year-long contract with a value of about £5m, with the Conservative-led cabinet this week due to agree to give officers the go-ahead to start the process.

When the authority agreed a contract with BAM Farrans to build the bridge, one year’s operation was included "to ensure the contractor has control during any teething troubles".

Eastern Daily Press: The Herring Bridge in Great YarmouthThe Herring Bridge in Great Yarmouth (Image: Newsquest)

Such 'teething troubles' arose within days of the bridge's official opening, when problems with sensors on its leaves led to it getting stuck.

It has suffered from two major faults, forcing it to close for repairs.

During one fault, swearing from workers in the control room trying to fix it was broadcast to queuing motorists via the public address system, leading to the crossing being dubbed the swearing bridge.

READ MORE: Great Yarmouth's Herring Bridge becomes Swearing Bridge

After the contract runs out next February, a new company to operate the bridge will need to be brought in.

The £5m will be drawn from the highways budget of the council, which recently agreed £42m of cuts and savings.

Eastern Daily Press: The Herring Bridge in Great YarmouthThe Herring Bridge in Great Yarmouth (Image: Luke Martin Photography)

Officers said they did not believe potential contractors would be put off by the bridge's problems, which ought to be ironed out long before the takeover.

A spokesman said: "In such complex structures, some issues are to be expected, but we already have an extended maintenance contract in place and do not see that this would generate any reluctance from potential bidders."

Eastern Daily Press: Brian Watkins, leader of the Liberal Democrat group at Norfolk County CouncilBrian Watkins, leader of the Liberal Democrat group at Norfolk County Council (Image: Norfolk Liberal Democrats)

But Brian Watkins, leader of the opposition Liberal Democrat group at County Hall, said: "Transparency is needed around the potential creeping costs of the project, although delivered within budget, the running of the bridge will incur further costs on top of the original £121m."

Eastern Daily Press: Graham Plant, Norfolk County Council cabinet member for highways, transport and infrastructureGraham Plant, Norfolk County Council cabinet member for highways, transport and infrastructure (Image: Norfolk County Council)

Graham Plant, Norfolk County Council's cabinet member for highways, transport and infrastructure, said: "In its first two months of operation we have already seen the difference the bridge is making to everyone's journeys across Great Yarmouth and it will continue to support the economic growth of our region for generations to come."