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No plans to close Orwell Bridge today – but highways chiefs monitoring winds

PUBLISHED: 06:55 22 February 2020 | UPDATED: 06:55 22 February 2020

Highways England said it would provide updates on any potential closure of the Orwell Bridge  Picture: ARCHANT

Highways England said it would provide updates on any potential closure of the Orwell Bridge Picture: ARCHANT

Archant

Highways England has announced it has no plans to close the Orwell Bridge due to high winds today.

But the roads authority said it would be monitoring wind speeds and would provide updates if a closure became necessary later on.

Wind speeds of between 40mph and 50mph are expected in Suffolk over the weekend.

Forecasters predicted high winds throughout Saturday and Sunday, with patches of rain also due.

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It marks the third consecutive weekend of stormy weather, following Storm Ciara and Storm Dennis.

The bridge typically closes when wind speeds are likely to exceed 50mph.

Last week, Ipswich MP Tom Hunt said it was "absolutely imperative" that steps are taken to keep the bridge open during storms, in the wake of an 18-hour closure.

Mr Hunt spoke out after Storm Dennis forced the closure of the bridge from last Saturday afternoon into Sunday morning - just a week after a prolonged closure during Storm Ciara.

In total, strong winds have led to 50 hours and 53 minutes of closures since the start of the year - a figure that is already higher than the total time closed during the preceding two years, which included closures caused by the Beast from the East.


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