Development consent has been granted for the construction, operation and maintenance of the Great Yarmouth Third River Crossing in Norfolk.

The 50m clear span twin bascule bridge and its highway approaches will provide a new link across the River Yare, alleviating congestion, reducing journey times and stimulating growth in both the port and the seaside town. The scheme is estimated to cost £121m.

The detailed design for the Norfolk County Council project is being delivered by Roughan & O’Donovan (ROD), Hardesty & Hanover (H&H), who are global experts in moveable bridges, and Proworks, a Norfolk-based architecture firm. The design is for a construction joint venture between BAM Nuttall and Farrans Construction.

Development Consent Order

An application integrating BAM Farrans, ROD and H&H’s successful tender design for the structures with Norfolk County Council’s specimen design for the highway works was submitted to the Government’s Planning Inspectorate by Norfolk County Council on the 30 April 2019.

The application was accepted for examination as a ‘nationally significant infrastructure project’ one month later.

Following an examination during which the Applicant, Statutory Consultees and Interested Parties were given the opportunity to provide evidence to the Examining Authority, a recommendation was made to the Secretary of State on 24 June 2020.

The final decision was confirmed by the Secretary for State for Transport, Grant Schapps, on Thursday, 24 September 2020.

Reaction to the news

Jim Thorpe, transportation director and lead of ROD’s UK office in Otley, Leeds, said:

“I am delighted that the project team has achieved this significant milestone and that we have contributed our expertise in the planning and design of UK highway infrastructure.”

Graham Plant, deputy leader at Norfolk County Council and Great Yarmouth Borough Council, said:

“This is fantastic news. We’re now tantalisingly close to making this much-needed bridge a reality. Not only will it make getting around so much easier for many people currently living and working in the borough but it will support the town’s key industries, including those linked to offshore energy and maritime sectors."

Great Yarmouth MP Brandon Lewis said:

“The Third River Crossing will be transformational for the borough and will bring meaningful benefits to local businesses – especially those in the energy sector.”

Next steps

The complex detailed design is currently being finalised, in readiness for construction, by the multidisciplinary design team based out of New York (H&H), Dublin and Otley (ROD), and Norwich (Proworks).

BAM Farrans JV is preparing to start construction in January 2021, and Norfolk County Council is in the process of submitting the final business case to the Department for Transport.

The opening of the new link is planned for early 2023.

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