Final preparations at Lowestoft third crossing site ahead of public consultation
- Credit: Nick Butcher
Ground investigation works have been carried out as the final editions are made to Lowestoft's third crossing plans.
The work was carried out on behalf of Suffolk County Council today by environmental consultants, Geosphere, who undertook structural and environmental tests as well as collecting geological samples.
Those involved with the design process will now be able to finalise the detailed design for the new bridge piers and foundations.
The crossing will link from the A12 via Waveney Drive on the south side of Lake Lothing, to Denmark Road and Peto Way on the north side.
The site visit was attended by local council leaders, alongside Waveney MP Peter Aldous.
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'We've had a congestion problem in Lowestoft for a long time and the third crossing addresses that,' said Mr Aldous.
'It offers improved prospects for the fishing industry and further potential for expansion in Lowestoft.
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'This is so important because it shows the town is open for business and we want people to feel welcome when they come here.'
Last year the government's Department for Transport awarded £73.4m to Suffolk County Council for the bridge's construction, with the council also contributing £20m.
Planning has been progressing over the past few months and, this September, there will be a statutory consultation where members of the public can examine the plans and give feedback.
Leader of Suffolk County Council, Colin Noble, said: 'It's really exciting to be here on site, breaking ground. We really hope this development will spearhead the regeneration we want to see in Lowestoft.
'At the public consultation we'll be sitting down with people and showing them the options; we want the public to feel like they're being listened to and having an influence.'
The planning application for the crossing is due to be submitted at the start of 2018. Construction is scheduled to begin in 2019, before the bridge opens in 2022.
'The crossing is long-awaited and it's going to be much easier for people to get across the town,' added Mark Bee, leader of Waveney District Council.
'We're moving into an exciting new phase and this will finally provide great opportunities for Lowestoft's economic development.'
Click here to see an overview of the third crossing proposals.