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Major upgrade to Great Yarmouth’s Haven bridge starts this month

15 February 2021

The 91-year-old Haven Bridge in Great Yarmouth is set for a major electrical and mechanical upgrade with work starting on Monday 22 February.

On top of the major £1.2m upgrade, additional works to be carried out alongside the upgrade scheme this spring, and urgent works completed last year, are expected to bring the total investment in the bridge over the past year to £2.2m.

Cllr Martin Wilby, cabinet member for highways, infrastructure and transport, said: “This comprehensive upgrade is expected to resolve many of the issues caused by the lifting bridge’s ageing equipment. Residents and businesses in and around Great Yarmouth need this bridge to be reliable, and this is what this work is intended to achieve.

“I’m grateful that we were able to secure the necessary funding from the government to make this vital project possible.”

To minimise disruption while work is underway the bridge will remain open to road traffic and pedestrians, apart from on a limited number of overnight and evening closure dates. These closure dates will be publicised nearer the time. The first overnight closure is likely to be towards the end of March.

Unfortunately a further fault last week, which is currently under investigation, has again left the bridge unable to lift for river traffic, so the county council is urgently working with any businesses affected to explore possible options until the bridge can be lifted manually. Once the bridge can be lifted manually a list of bookable bridge lifting slots will be published to allow mariners planned access while the work is being carried out.

The improvements have been made possible thanks to the £22m highway funding for Norfolk that the Department for Transport announced in May 2020, with £1.2m allocated to the Haven Bridge upgrades. Additional funding will be from the county council’s capital works budget.

The aim is to complete the upgrade by early summer. Despite unknowns due to the age of the structure, and the possibility of other issues being exposed during improvement works, every effort will be made to complete the work as swiftly as possible given the importance of the bridge to both road and river users.

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