Contractor appointed for ‘Gull Wing’ bridge
The ‘Gull Wing’ bridge in Lowestoft will be constructed by contractor Farrans, Suffolk County Council has announced.
Construction work on the £126.8m project is scheduled to begin in the spring of 2021, with the bridge opening in the summer of 2023.
The lifting bridge will be the third crossing over Lake Lothing in the Suffolk coastal town.
Suffolk County Council had originally picked BAM for the project, which was budgeted at £60m, but went back to the market after the two parties were unable to agree a price. Despite mounting costs, the approval to go ahead was given at an August council meeting, which rubber-stamped Farrans’ £76m construction contract.
The project’s full business case has been submitted to the Department for Transport and depends on £73.4m of government funding.
Jonny Kerr, operations director for Farrans’ Civil Engineering Division, said: “We’re delighted to be involved with the Gull Wing project in Lowestoft. It is an iconic structure. This contract comes at an important time for the construction sector and we recognise the role that large infrastructure projects like this will play in strengthening the economy in the wake of coronavirus.
“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 have worked with Suffolk County Council on 24 projects in the last 20 years, including Lowestoft North Fire Station and Lowestoft South Fire Station.
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.
“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.”