£50,000 competition to design new bridge over Orwell

The Island Site at Ipswich Waterfront with the Wet Dock to the left and the New Cut, which will have

The Island Site at Ipswich Waterfront with the Wet Dock to the left and the New Cut, which will have a new bridge across it, to the right. Photo: Sky Cam East - Credit: Archant

At least £50,000 has been put aside in prize money to try to encourage architects to design new bridges for the Upper Orwell Crossing project.

The money is coming out of the total budget of £77m for the project – and should mean that a design team for the scheme chosen by Christmas.

The competition is being run by the Royal Institute of British Architects who say that the bridges must improve the Ipswich skyline.

A shortlist of at least five entrants will be selected by the middle of next month, and each will receive £10,000 to complete their entry.

The winner will be chosen by a panel headed by eminent architect Sir Michael Hopkins and including Ipswich MP Ben Gummer, Carole Jones from Ipswich Council, and Guy McGregor from Suffolk County Council.

The winning design will be announced during the week starting December 12.

Meanwhile Ipswich residents and motorists have one more week to give their views on the proposed crossings in the county council’s consultation exercise.

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Three separate crossings are proposed – a road link from Cliff Quay to the West Bank of the Orwell, a bridge over the New Cut from near Felaw Maltings to the island site and a new pedestrian/cycle path over the lock gates.

So far more than 7,000 people have seen the county council’s website outlining the proposals and more than 550 comments have been made.

Mr McGregor, who is responsible for the project at the county, said: The crossings will support investment, bringing more business and jobs to the Wet Dock Island, which could act as a catalyst for the development of underused land and public space improvements.”

There is an exhibition at the council’s Endeavour House headquarters and at Chantry Library until the end of next week and the details can be seen at www.Suffolk.gov.uk/UpperOrwellCrossings