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Lake Lothing to close for three weeks during bridge construction

PUBLISHED: 18:19 12 September 2018

The site purchased for the new highway crossing of Lake Lothing Picture: NEIL DIDSBURY

The site purchased for the new highway crossing of Lake Lothing Picture: NEIL DIDSBURY

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Lake Lothing in Lowestoft is set to be closed to all vessels for around three weeks during work to install a third bridge, it has emerged – but council chiefs claim it will not impact on port traffic.

The port of Lowestoft will only suffer minor impact from the work, Suffolk County Council said Picture: GRAHAM CANNELLThe port of Lowestoft will only suffer minor impact from the work, Suffolk County Council said Picture: GRAHAM CANNELL

Suffolk County Council and Waveney District Council are currently submitting their responses to the Planning Inspectorate’s consultation, as part of the formal planning process.

The report presented to the county council’s development and regulation committee on Tuesday unveiled more details about the scheme, which is due to begin in 2019 or 2020 if there are no delays.

It said: “During the construction of the scheme it will be necessary to close Lake Lothing to all marine vessels for a period likely to be three weeks whilst the bridge is being positioned, and this will constitute a slight adverse but not a significant effect upon the operations of Associated British Ports (ABP).

“During this time, no vessel will be able to navigate through the area of the bridge, although the eastern inner harbour will remain operational.”

Throughout the rest of the construction the navigation channel through the lake will remain open, the report added.

A spokesman from ABP has been approached for comment, but was unavailable at the time of going to press.

The placing of the bridge has been modelled in a simulator housed at East Coast College, and has modelled the movement of marine traffic along the lake during construction.

The committee agreed the consultation response on Tuesday, with Waveney set to approve its response next week.

A county council spokesman said: “The recommendations regarding the Lake Lothing Third Crossing were unanimously agreed as proposed, and local members in particular were very supportive of the scheme.”

The response highlighted some “minor traffic modelling issues” which were being ironed out, while further work on archaeological investigation and impact of construction traffic are also set to take place.

The council report said the measures would help protect the environment and communities.

The project requires a development consent order (DCO) from the secretary of state in order to progress, which is now being examined.

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