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Farrans agrees £76m price for new Lowestoft bridge

30 Sep 20 Suffolk County Council has announced that Farrans has been appointed to construct the Gull Wing, Lowestoft’s third crossing over Lake Lothing.

Gull Wing, with opening middle section, will be the third crossing of Lake Lothing crossing in Lowestoft
Gull Wing, with opening middle section, will be the third crossing of Lake Lothing crossing in Lowestoft

The contract to build the bridge was retendered last year after BAM Nuttall, in pole position having delivered the design phase, failed to agree terms with the council to move to the main construction phase.

This has resulted in Farrans Construction now securing a £76m contract to build the bridge. Construction work is scheduled to begin in the spring of 2021, with the bridge opening in the summer of 2023.

A joint venture of BAM Nuttall and Farrans Construction is main contractor for another major East Anglian bridge project, the £75m Great Yarmouth Third River Crossing in neighbouring Norfolk.

Lowestoft’s distinctive Gull Wing, with its distinctive bascule design will be Suffolk’s most significant infrastructure development in recent memory, the county council said.

The new bridge across Lake Lothing will link from Waveney Drive on the south side, to Denmark Road and Peto Way on the north side. It will be a lifting bridge to enable tall vessels to pass through. It will be higher than the existing bascule bridge so more boats should be able to pass underneath without the need to lift.

Councillor Matthew Hicks, leader of Suffolk County Council, said: “Suffolk’s Gull Wing project continues to gather momentum and I’m pleased to welcome Farrans onboard. Following an in-depth tender process, this appointment is based on an offer which we believe will bring a balance of high-quality workmanship, value for money and great social value for the local area.

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“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.”

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. In the last 20 years we have completed 24 projects for Suffolk County Council, including Lowestoft North Fire Station and Lowestoft South Fire Station.”

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.

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