The start of construction work on Lowestoft’s Gull Wing has been formally marked this week, as despite officials not being able to host a traditional groundbreaking ceremony at the site, due to Covid lockdown restrictions.
On Monday, 22nd March, a video featuring a range of people involved with the scheme has been released, including Jack and Hayden, former Somerleyton Primary School pupils who won the schools competition to give the Gull Wing its name.
In the video, a number of facts about the Gull Wing are revealed, such as how long it will take to open when ships need to pass underneath, and how many tonnes of concrete will be used during construction.
Councillor Matthew Hicks, leader of Suffolk County Council, said: “We have achieved many milestones in recent months, and I’m delighted that we can now formally recognise the beginning of the construction works for the Gull Wing. The last couple of months have seen lots of preparation work going on behind the scenes, but contractors are now beginning to work on site and hoardings are going up.
“Of course, building such a large and complex structure will require us to temporarily close some roads and alter how people are used to moving around the town, at various points in the next couple of years. But I ask local residents and businesses to be patient and work with us, and to look towards the end result which will bring so many benefits and much improved access around the town.”
Councillor Steve Gallant, leader of East Suffolk Council, added: “This bridge is becoming a reality now, and local East Suffolk residents will start to see the building work begin. I understand that some of the engineering is really cutting edge and so it’s a project that Lowestoft should be proud to celebrate – not least local businesses who have the opportunity to provide their services and skills to make the Gull Wing happen.”
Peter Aldous, MP for Waveney, said: “This nationally significant project is now a reality and it will be great to visit the site as soon as it is safe to do so under lockdown restrictions. Special thanks are due to all those who have worked so hard to get us to this stage. The Gull Wing provides many exciting economic opportunities for Lowestoft and the surrounding area and we must now do all that we can to make them happen.”
Meanwhile, Neil Rogers, Project Director at Farrans, added: “We are pleased to be on the ground and beginning construction on this iconic structure following many months of hard work behind the scenes. In the last few weeks we have held a number of Meet the Buyer events which have provided us with the opportunity to engage with local suppliers. We have recruited many of our team from the local area and we know that they appreciate how important this project is to the community. We have worked with Suffolk County Council on 24 projects in the last 20 years, including Lowestoft North Fire Station and Lowestoft South Fire Station and we are pleased to continue to build on this relationship.”
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