Progress on long-awaited bridge
- Credit: Ella Wilkinson
Great Yarmouth’s long-awaited third river crossing appears to be edging ever closer.
At a Monday meeting of the borough council’s economic development committee, councillors were given a presentation about the bridge’s construction, which has been ongoing since January and is expected for completion in March 2023.
Project manager Tim Ellis said eight or nine water voles had been rehoused in May, while 20 homes and five business units had been demolished.
In a point made about noise complaints, Labour councillor Colleen Walker said: “I think, overall, we need to congratulate the residents in that area for what they are having to put up with.
“Those noises can be heard virtually in the end of Bradwell - sometimes, if the wind is right, you can hear them in Belton.
“Their concerns are real concerns and it is having an effect on one or two people that are housebound and can’t get out so they can’t escape it.
She added: “That’s not a criticism of the company. They’re doing all they can.”
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The councillor said she had waited more than 20 years for the crossing.
“Nobody is more grateful than I am... Hopefully Yarmouth will free up once it’s open,” she said.
The bridge’s two moveable ‘leaves’ are planned for installation in October and November of 2022, and are being built in Belgium before being shipped over on a barge, which will be moored in the town’s harbour during a 72-hour blockade.
Labour councillor and former MP Tony Wright said it was “disappointing” and “a pity” the leaves will come from Belgium and that steel piles used for the cofferdams had come from Turkey - saying he favoured using British industry where possible.
In response, BAM Nutall Ltd contracts manager Richard Hayman listed several examples of how the company has worked with local enterprises on the bridge and said: “Where market forces allow, we are looking to the local economy wherever we can.”
The committee’s Conservative chairman Graham Plant said of the bridge’s name: “We’ve been talking about trying to get the name through schools…
“We’ll work on that and work up a scheme as [to] how we can name it properly, and work with the local community to make that happen.”