National specialist contractors secured to complete complex work on major Haven Bridge upgrade
19 October 2021It has been confirmed today that VolkerLaser is the new subcontractor on the major Haven Bridge upgrade project. The UK based firm has been appointed by main contractor Tarmac to take over the works on the bridge after the previous expert contractor Cleveland Bridge unexpectedly went into administration earlier this summer and ceased to trade on 20 September.
Complex mechanical and electrical works that started in February to upgrade the 91-year-old Haven Bridge in Great Yarmouth are now due to be complete, and the bridge brought back into normal operation, in March 2022.
The later than anticipated completion of the project is due not only to Cleveland Bridge going into administration, but also to materials supply problems that are being experienced nationally.
Cllr Martin Wilby, Cabinet Member for Highways, Infrastructure and Transport, said: “I welcome the news that VolkerLaser will be taking over the highly specialised work on this key upgrade scheme. It’s clearly disappointing that the scheme will take longer than previously expected however we’ve been working closely with Tarmac to ensure any delays to this important project have been kept to an absolute minimum.”
The bridge remains open to road traffic and pedestrians while the work is underway. Although smaller vessels will still be able to navigate under the bridge over the coming months it will not be possible for the bridge to be lifted for larger vessels until the work is complete. Enabling bridge lifts before the upgrade is finished will unfortunately delay the completion date, so the aim is to avoid any further delays and bring the bridge back into normal operation as swiftly as possible.
Once complete it is expected that the major upgrade, and urgent works completed last year, will bring the total investment in the bridge to over £2m. 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.