'A reality': £126.75m Gull Wing bridge marks the start of work
- Credit: Suffolk County Council
It has been hailed as "an iconic and important bridge" for Lowestoft.
And after more than 100 years of waiting, dreams have become reality as the start of construction work on Lowestoft’s Gull Wing third crossing has been formally marked.
The new £126.75m Gull Wing bridge, which will cross Lake Lothing and link Waveney Drive to Denmark Road and Peto Way, is expected to open in the summer of 2023.
With preparatory work starting in January on a project that is hoped to reduce traffic congestion in the town, regenerate the area and attract new investment for the local economy, the much-needed third crossing is being delivered by Suffolk County Council and built by Farrans Construction.
The start of construction work was formally marked on Monday, March 22 despite officials not being able to host a traditional groundbreaking ceremony at the site, due to lockdown restrictions.
Instead, a video featuring a range of people involved with the scheme has been released, including Jack and Hayden, former Somerleyton Primary School pupils who won the schools competition to give the Gull Wing its name.
The video includes a number of facts about the Gull Wing, and Matthew Hicks, Suffolk County Council leader said: “We have achieved many milestones in recent months, and I’m delighted that we can now formally recognise the beginning of the construction works for the Gull Wing.
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"The last couple of months have seen lots of preparation work going on behind the scenes, but contractors are now beginning to work on site and hoardings are going up.”
East Suffolk Council leader Steve Gallant said: “This bridge is becoming a reality now, and local East Suffolk residents will start to see the building work begin.
"I understand that some of the engineering is really cutting edge and so it’s a project that Lowestoft should be proud to celebrate – not least local businesses who have the opportunity to provide their services and skills to make the Gull Wing happen.”
Waveney MP Peter Aldous said: “This nationally significant project is now a reality and it will be great to visit the site as soon as it is safe to do so under lockdown restrictions.
"The Gull Wing provides many exciting economic opportunities for Lowestoft and the surrounding area and we must now do all that we can to make them happen.”
Neil Rogers, project director at Farrans, said: “We are pleased to be on the ground and beginning construction on this iconic structure following many months of hard work behind the scenes."