Drivers warned of Orwell bridge repairs

MAINTENANCE work to replace bearings on the A14 Orwell Bridge will now continue from Sunday.The work, which was originally due to begin tomorrow, will affect the A14 westbound carriageway only but the workforce will be working underneath the bridge so may not be visible from the road.

MAINTENANCE work to replace bearings on the A14 Orwell Bridge will now continue from Sunday.

The work, which was originally due to begin tomorrow, will affect the A14 westbound carriageway only but the workforce will be working underneath the bridge so may not be visible from the road.

However, there will be overnight lane closures and a 50mph restriction in place 24 hours a day for the safety of road users and workers, the Highways Agency said.

It comes as some of the bearings that allow the bridge to expand or contract in response to high or low temperatures need to be replaced.

Work is due to be completed by the end of November, with traffic management due to be removed in early November.

Roger Chenery, project manager for the Highways Agency, said: “We are planning to keep as many lanes as possible open during peak periods.

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“The bridge remains safe for use but we need to close lanes at times during the work to provide a safe working area and, for the safety of road users.

“Drivers are asked to leave extra time for their journeys and drive carefully through the works for their own safety and that of the workforce.”

From Sunday, August 19, until the beginning of November, there will be no lane closures but narrow lanes and a 50mph speed restriction will be in place 24 hours a day, enforced by average speed safety cameras.

On six occasions the A14 westbound will be completely closed from the A14 Junction 58 (A12 Seven Hill Interchange) to the A14 Junction 56 (A371 Wherstead Junction) between 8pm and 6am.

The expected dates of the closures are August 19 and 22, September 11, 27 and 29, and October 16.

This is so the bridge can be jacked up and down at the top of three piers to remove and replace the bearings.

During overnight closures of the westbound carriageway, a signed diversion route will be in place from the A14 Junction 58 via the A1156, A1189 and A1214 through Ipswich.

The westbound footway of the bridge will be closed for the duration of the works. A diversion will be in place via the footway adjacent to the eastbound carriageway.

Works are being undertaken between June and November to avoid breeding season for wading birds within the Special Site of Scientific Interest and the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

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