Yorkshire firms celebrate Great Yarmouth bridge opening

Two Yorkshire firms involved in Great Yarmouth’s Herring Bridge are celebrating the £121m project’s opening earlier this month.

Barnsley engineering firm Qualter Hall designed, manufactured and installed the lifting bridge’s operating package, while Sherburn-in-Elmet based EJOT Group supplied the world’s largest mechanical anchors.

The twin-bascule bridge was designed by New York architects Hardesty & Hannover, and built by BAM Farrans, a joint venture between BAM Nuttall and Farrans Construction.

The project involved extensive design support from EJOT at an early stage to demonstrate its proposed anchoring solution would meet the safety critical performance required.

Once the design was approved, assembly of the anchors could commence at EJOT’s Sherburn-in-Elmet factory, where 90 people are employed. A dedicated team were able to modify bespoke anchors in a matter of days in order to respond to the constant updates to BAM Farrans’ project timeline.

Paul Papworth, EJOT UK’s anchoring specialist said: “It is fantastic to see this bridge completed and fully open after working with the designers, engineers and main contractor BAM Farrans for around three years. Yorkshire’s engineering heritage is renowned around the world, so it is particularly pleasing to be helping to continue that tradition by providing products for this latest bridge project.

“The bridge is a feat of engineering given that twin bascule bridges of this kind are relatively rare in the UK, with each leaf weighing an estimated 192 tonnes. And the machinery used to operate the bridge is also so powerful that it is can open and close within 90 seconds, and it can do this more than twenty times every day.”

The bridge carries the busy A47 dual-carriageway to provide easier access to Great Yarmouth’s docks, and it is expected to be an important catalyst for growth in the region’s economy. It opened to road traffic on 1 February.