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Background and current position

The County Council made the Third River Crossing one of its infrastructure priorities in 2016 in recognition of its potential to attract investment to the area, create jobs and give local people a better quality of life.

The third river crossings is a lifting bridge linking the A47 (formerly A12) at the Harfrey's roundabout in the Southtown area of Yarmouth to the port and the enterprise zone on the other side of the river. The new bridge has eased traffic congestion on the town's roads, shortening journey times and improving journey reliability.

The final design of the bridge and its approaches were constructed by our joint contractors BAM Farrans, a joint venture between two construction industry leaders BAM Nuttall and Farrans Construction, who were awarded the contract for the Third River Crossing in January 2019.  The bridge is a twin leaf bascule design which opens in the middle to allow taller river traffic through.

In November 2017 we were awarded £98m towards the anticipated £121m cost of building the Third River Crossing by the Department for Transport. Then in February 2018 the Secretary of State for Transport confirmed the Third River Crossing as a nationally significant project.  As a result, we made an application for a Development Consent Order (DCO) to progress the project in April 2019.  This was formally accepted by the Planning Inspectorate in May 2019.

A detailed examination period of our application and any other representations closed in March 2020 and in September 2020, the Secretary of State for Transport approved our Development Consent Order application to construct, operate and maintain the bridge and its approaches.

We received Government approval of our final business case and confirmation of funding in November 2020. Construction began in January 2021.

In early 2023, the public voted and selected the permanent name 'Herring Bridge' for the crossing and shortly after this the two giant bridge leaves were lifted into position. Watch the Third River Crossing second leaf installation (video).

The bridge is now fully operational for both road and river traffic but public realm works on Bollard Quay will continue into summer 2024.