Great Yarmouth’s £121m Third River Crossing opens today

It is three years in the making. And the day is finally here.

Great Yarmouth’s Third River Crossing opens today (February 1), allowing people to use the gigantic £121m Herring Bridge for the very first time.

The opening ceremony begins at 11am with a blessing by Rev Canon Simon Ward, Rector of Great Yarmouth, followed by the unveiling of a commemorative plaque by MP Sir Brandon Lewis at the western approach.

Following this, a countdown from the control tower will see the bridge leaves lowered. Shortly after, a procession of classic cars, emergency service vehicles, local hauliers and contractors involved in the project, and people onboard the famous Great Yarmouth road train will make the first trip across Herring Bridge.

There will be no access to the main bridge for the general public during the opening ceremony.

After the procession borough mayor Penny Carpenter will cut the ribbons on each side of the bridge to welcome all residents onto the bridge for the first time, with music provided by Harbour Radio.

People will be able to go on the bridge by foot between 11.45am and 1.30pm.

In the early afternoon, the bridge will be cleared to allow the leaves to be raised once more for the grand finale. Lifeboat crews and a host of local vessels will pass through with the town’s last remaining herring boat the Lydia Eva.

The bridge will then be open to all traffic from about 3pm.

William Adams Way will be closed to through traffic between A47 Harfrey’s roundabout and Beccles Road and Southtown Road junction between 9am to 3pm while the event takes place.

Anyone travelling to the area to watch the proceedings is advised to use public transport or travel on foot where possible.

The new bridge links the A47 at Harfrey’s roundabout to the port and the enterprise zone via South Denes Road on the other side of the River Yare.

Construction began on January 4, 2021.

By James Weeds at Great Yarmouth Mercury

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