Completion date slips for Farrans £145m Gull Wing bridge

The planned opening of a technically complex bridge being built in Lowestoft by Farrans has been delayed.

Client Suffolk Country Council has confirmed that the opening date has been pushed back to “2024” from its original target of December 2023.

The news came as Farrans was granted an extension for road closures to allow highways works to be completed on the northern approach to the £145m Gull Wing Bridge.

Simon Bretherton, Suffolk County Council Project Director warned that “significant risks and challenges do remain, particularly with the installation, testing and commissioning of the moving bascule span.”

He added: “A clearer view of the timetable for its completion and opening will emerge as we undertake that final major component during a closure of the main navigation channel in the new year.”

The council said “construction of the bridge itself continues to make good progress, with seven of the bridge’s eight spans already lifted into place.”

It added: “The concreting of the bridge deck slabs is well underway on both sides of Lake Lothing, and the new control room at the top of the control tower is under construction.

“The plant room building is also currently being fitted out with the power supply, hydraulic pumps, communications equipment, and other building services.

“The main bascule span is expected to be installed in the new year, pending agreement with Associated British Ports, during which time it’s expected the navigation channel will be closed for three weeks.

“The giant ‘J’ beams and bridge deck are currently being fabricated and assembled in Belgium and the Netherlands and will arrive by sea. The installation and commissioning of the bascule span will form the final and most complex major element of this unique and challenging project.

“Once completed, there will be a short period of time for final commissioning and for staff to be trained in the operating of the bridge before it can safely be opened to the public in 2024.”

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