Relief for rush-hour motorists as Orwell Bridge to stay OPEN - for now

Closure of the Orwell Bridge caused gridlock in Ipswich yesterday Picture: ARCHANT

Closure of the Orwell Bridge caused gridlock in Ipswich yesterday Picture: ARCHANT - Credit: Archant

Another Orwell Bridge closure seems less likely today after Highways England said it will stay open and be “constantly monitored”.

Highways England confirmed the bridge will remain open on Twitter at 8:57am, which means Suffolk is more likely to avoid the chaotic traffic scenes it had yesterday, with drivers experiencing gridlock across Ipswich.

The tweet from Highways England said: “The A14 Orwell Bridge in Suffolk is currently open - we’re constantly monitoring wind speeds and working closely with the Met Office.”

The winds are coming from a westerly direction at this time, creating headwinds and tailwinds for drivers.

These winds have to be more than 60mph to cause the bridge to be closed, where as a cross-wind from the north or south only has to reach about 50mph.

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Weatherquest forecasters are still expecting to see high winds in the county today.

Forecaster Chris Bell said: “The winds are not going to die down quickly. The worst of the winds are expected to happen between 11am and 2pm, when the gusts could reach up to 50-60mph.

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“Yesterday we saw gusts up to 60mph and we can expect the same kind of speeds today.

“They will ease off in the afternoon to between 40-50mph by about 5pm, then lower again overnight.

“There may be showers this morning but these will likely clear for this afternoon.”

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