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One year on: Copdock roundabout ‘fully restored’ after lorry hangs over A14

PUBLISHED: 18:13 08 June 2020 | UPDATED: 18:51 08 June 2020

The scene on the A14 at Copdock where a lorry overturned last year and significant repair work was required to fix the bridge. Picture: NSRAPT

The scene on the A14 at Copdock where a lorry overturned last year and significant repair work was required to fix the bridge. Picture: NSRAPT

Archant

It has been 12 months since Ipswich was brought to a standstill after a lorry was left “precariously” hanging over the A14 following a crash.

Police closed the road last year as they dealt with the overturned lorry at Copdock roundabout. Picture: ROXY LOUISE SIERPolice closed the road last year as they dealt with the overturned lorry at Copdock roundabout. Picture: ROXY LOUISE SIER

Significant repair work had to be carried out to the Copdock bridge damaged during the rush-hour crash which happened on Friday June 7, 2019.

The lorry overturned on the eastbound carriageway at Copdock Interchange before coming to rest partially overhanging the carriageway below, debris hitting passing cars.

The incident brought the town to a standstill after the roundabout was closed by police and not reopened until the following Monday after emergency repairs were carried out.

Highways England temporarily installed concrete blocks in the hole left in the fencing of the bridge, which overlooks the A14, and a crane was used to recover the vehicle.

Petru-ionut Lungu has been banned from the road following the incident at Copdock Interchange. Picture: NSRAPT/ARCHANTPetru-ionut Lungu has been banned from the road following the incident at Copdock Interchange. Picture: NSRAPT/ARCHANT

It was a busy evening in the area, as thousands of fans headed to Ipswich town centre for the Rod Stewart concert at Portman Road – and the crash meant many arrived late.

What repair work has happened since?

The road is managed by Highways England, which confirmed the bridge has been “fully restored”.

They said the structural repairs to the bridge were carried out last year, with work to repair the parapet and the installation of a new approach barrier being completed across three days in July 2019.

The removal of the temporary safety barrier – which was installed in the immediate aftermath of the crash – was completed on January 31 this year.

The repairs were fully funded by the lorry driver’s insurance company rather than the taxpayer.

There are also no plans for a speed reduction at this time.

Earlier this month, Highways England undertook resurfacing and expansion joint replacement work on the bridge structure to further improve safety for drivers.

Highways England said this was not carried out due to the crash but part of ongoing routine maintenance work.

At the time of the incident, passenger Roxy Louise Sier, said: “The lorry is hanging over the edge precariously. Fire brigade, police and ambulance service are all at the scene.

“Firefighters retrieved the driver of the lorry through the driver’s side window, who appears to be unharmed.”

What happened to the driver?

Petru-ionut Lungu was driving the meat lorry over the A14 at Copdock interchange and has since been banned from the road.

As he went through the second set of traffic lights, Lungu’s lorry tipped over onto its side and was left overhanging the A14, Suffolk Magistrates’ Court heard on March 9, 2020.

Debris was shed onto the road below as a result of the crash, which damaged two vehicles and caused minor injuries to one driver, prosecutor Ian Devine told the court.

Lungu, 33, of St Martins Green, Trimley St Martin, pleaded guilty to careless driving.

He received a six-month totting up driving ban and was fined £562.

Lungu was also ordered to pay costs of £85 and a victim surcharge of £56.

Magistrates saw dashcam footage of the crash, both from behind the vehicle and below the bridge, with the latter clip showing debris hitting a vehicle.


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