Orwell Bridge will CLOSE for 10 hours tonight

The Orwell Bridge is due to close. Picture: GETTY IMAGES/ISTOCKPHOTO

The Orwell Bridge is due to close. Picture: GETTY IMAGES/ISTOCKPHOTO - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Highways England have announced that the Orwell Bridge will close from 5pm this evening due to strong winds.

In a tweet, they said: "We have had our forecast update and we have decided to CLOSE the Orwell Bridge from 5pm today to 3am tomorrow morning. We will monitor wind speeds throughout the night and update you all if we can re-open it sooner."

The planned diversion route is via the A1156, A1189 and A1214 through Ipswich which will be "clearly" sign-posted.

In a statement, a Highways England spokesman said: "Highways England is advising road users in the East of England that the Orwell Bridge in Suffolk is likely to close at 5pm this evening (Tuesday 14 January) for safety reasons, due to high winds.

"Once closed, Highways England will continue to monitor wind speeds closely before making a decision about when to reopen the A14 bridge.

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"The worst of the weather is expected between 5pm and 3am tomorrow morning (Wednesday, January 15) but wind speeds will be assessed throughout this period.

"However, the bridge is expected to reopen at 3am well before the morning rush hour."

Highways England closed the bridge at 7pm last night after winds were predicted to exceed their 50mph safety limit.

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The bridge reopened in the early hours of this morning, but with more heavy winds forecast throughout this evening, Highways England have made the decision to close the bridge.

A yellow weather warning remains in place, with delays to road, rail, air and ferry transport likely.

Some short term loss of power and other services is also possible as southwesterly winds gust to 40-50mph.

Drivers planning to travel are encouraged to plan their journey in advance and check the latest weather and traffic conditions along the route.

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