£2m work due to start on Orwell bridge

MOTORISTS will face speed restrictions and diversions when a £2million six-month repair operation is carried out on the Orwell Bridge, it was announced today.

MOTORISTS will face speed restrictions and diversions when a £2million six-month repair operation is carried out on the Orwell Bridge, it was announced today.

Work to the Stowmarket-bound carriageway of the bridge will start on Monday and will see a 40mph limit imposed and five closures while work is carried out.

Speed cameras will be installed to enforce drivers using the bridge, which is part of the A14, do not exceed 40mph.

The bridge consists of two concrete box girders which each carry two lanes of the road.

Each box is supported by spherical bearings that allow expansion or contraction of the bridge deck and it is these which need changing.

Work will be carried out underneath the bridge structure and will not be visible to drivers from the carriageway.

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The work will see a number of overnight lane closures and on five occasions between July and September the entire Stowmarket-bound carriageway will be closed overnight from 9pm to 5am.

During these closers diversions will be in place from the A12 Sevenhills Interchange through Ipswich.

A Highways Agency spokesman said: “The works on the Orwell Bridge are to replace bearings which allow the expansion and contraction of the bridge deck during temperature variations.

“This work is different to that done two years ago. That was a principal inspection - or kind of MoT for the bridge.

“The new work will involve the installation of specialist working platforms and hoists, the installation of restraint systems to ensure stability of the bridge deck during the bearing replacement, removal and installation of bearings and general maintenance of the pier tops and replacement and renewal of bird netting.”

The work is due to finish in November.

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