Farrans appointed as contractor on ‘iconic’ Lowestoft bridge
- Credit: Archant
A leading contractor has been appointed to build a coastal town’s new £126.75m bridge.
Suffolk County Council has announced building and civil engineering contractor, Farrans, will construct the Gull Wing – with more than 50 local employment and training opportunities to be created.
After a comprehensive tender process was run over the summer for Lowestoft’s third crossing over Lake Lothing, the county council’s cabinet gave the final approval to the project last month.
Farrans has now been unveiled as the winning contractor, with the £76m contract to commence later this year.
It comes as Suffolk-based company, Archaeological Solutions Ltd, is digging trial trenches at the site of the third crossing.
The Gull Wing will be Suffolk’s most significant infrastructure development in years and is one of several substantial projects set to transform Lowestoft.
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Suffolk County Council leader, Matthew Hicks, said: “Suffolk’s Gull Wing project continues to gather momentum and I’m pleased to welcome Farrans onboard.
“Since we announced the Gull Wing name and approved the budget to move the project forward last month, I’ve felt a real wave of positivity from the town and unanimous support from colleagues across the county.”
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Farrans has more than 70 years’ experience working in the East of England, having established a permanent office in 1949 to serve East Anglia, with the company successfully completing in excess of 250 projects in the region over the last three decades.
Jonny Kerr, operations director for Farrans’ Civil Engineering Division, said: “We’re delighted to be involved with the Gull Wing, which is going to mean a great deal to the local community.
“It is even more exciting to be working on such an iconic structure.
“The Gull Wing bridge will offer in excess of 50 employment and training opportunities for the local area through ourselves and our supply chain to leave a lasting legacy within Suffolk.
“We will of course be building the bridge, but our presence in Lowestoft will be much more than that. We will be working with local schools to involve children in the project and launching apprenticeships for local people.
“I’m also hoping that we will receive interest from plenty of local and regional businesses, to be part of the supply chain to construct the Gull Wing.”
The project’s full business case has now been submitted to the Department for Transport and once reviewed will enable the government’s £73.39m funding to be accessed.
Construction work is scheduled to begin in the spring of 2021, with the bridge opening in the summer of 2023.