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Third crossing to cost £37.8m

PUBLISHED: 11:24 19 November 2008 | UPDATED: 21:50 05 July 2010

Experts have revealed a preferred location for a much-needed new bridge for Lowestoft - and revealed it would cost at least £37.8m to build.

A third crossing over Lake Lothing should stretch from Peto Way in the north of the town to Waveney Drive in the south, according to consultants employed to identify the best site.

Experts have revealed a preferred location for a much-needed new bridge for Lowestoft - and revealed it would cost at least £37.8m to build.

A third crossing over Lake Lothing should stretch from Peto Way in the north of the town to Waveney Drive in the south, according to consultants employed to identify the best site.

An official report will not be published by the Highways Agency until next month, but business leaders have been given a sneak preview of the findings at a meeting hosted by Waveney MP Bob Blizzard.

Hopes for a third crossing received a boost last week after it made its way on to a list of schemes that could get cash from the East of England Regional Assembly (Eera) after 2013.

Consultants Faber Maunsell have revealed the best option would be for another bascule bridge and also revealed that inflation could lead to the construction cost soaring to more than £63m by the time the project gets the go-ahead.

Mr Blizzard persuaded the Highways Agency to pay for a third crossing study in compensation for the delayed repair project on the existing bascule bridge.

He said: “In that dark cloud we had to find a silver lining. At last, we are back on the list after all these years. I think that we have some renewed impetus.

“Up to now we haven't even been on the list to be considered. Now the challenge for all of us is to get our way up the list. We have got to the point where we can make it happen on a reasonable timescale.”

A petition for a third crossing, organised by Mr Blizzard, was signed by 15,000 people and major problems caused by closures of the bascule bridge have increased demands for a third crossing.

“We are an unusual place because not many towns are split in two with just two places to cross,” added Mr Blizzard.

A third crossing is an integral part of work to regenerate Lowestoft's rundown waterfront area being carried out by the 1st East Urban Regeneration Company.

Its chief executive Philip Watkins said: “We are working towards the delivery of a third crossing in the long-term.”

A delegate at the business meeting raised concerns about the fact that experts had suggested the construction of another lifting bridge.

However, Mr Watkins added: “The port is right at the heart of the economy of Lowestoft and it is important this bridge is acceptable to the marine community and businesses.”

There was also some concern about how long it would take to receive the funding for a new bridge.

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