£2m upgrade of Haven Bridge continues 'potentially into autumn'

Haven Bridge Great Yarmouth, Norfolk

Work to upgrade Haven Bridge in Great Yarmouth could now carry on into the autumn, states Norfolk County Council - Credit: Archant

Complex work that started in February to upgrade the 91-year-old Haven Bridge in Great Yarmouth could be extended longer than the summer.

The old motors and electrical system have been removed with new ones set to be installed over the coming months.

Detailed asbestos surveys have been carried out and safe removal completed. The next steps will include a range of safety improvements including to the operating and maintenance areas used by bridge engineers. A number of mechanical parts are undergoing complete refurbishment after having been successfully removed from the bridge last month.

Haven Bridge, Great Yarmouth

Haven Bridge, Great Yarmouth - Credit: Archant

The update on the progress from Norfolk County Council comes as work started on the bridge on Monday, February 22.

On top of the major £1.2m upgrade, extra work to be carried out is expected to bring the total investment in the bridge over the past year to £2.2m.

Martin Wilby, cabinet member for highways, infrastructure and transport, said: “This major upgrade to replace the lifting bridge’s ageing equipment is designed to give Great Yarmouth the reliable bridge that is needed by both residents and businesses.

"We’re grateful for everyone’s patience while the vital scheme is underway and we’re continuing to do everything we can to minimise any disruption to road and river users.”

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As expected, the comprehensive upgrade work has revealed age-related problems with the bridge such as the lifting gears and original drive shafts.

This now means that engineers will need to carry on the upgrade over the summer months and 'potentially into the autumn.'

The bridge remains open to road traffic and pedestrians while the work is underway, apart from on a limited number of overnight and evening closure dates, publicised nearer the time.

The improvements have been made possible thanks to £22m highway funding for Norfolk that the Department for Transport announced in May 2020, with £1.2m allocated to the Haven Bridge upgrades. Additional funding will be from the county council’s capital works budget.