Orwell Bridge to stay OPEN despite high winds

PUBLISHED: 11:33 04 February 2020 | UPDATED: 11:33 04 February 2020

The Orwell Bridge will not close today, say Highways England. Picture: ARCHANT

The Orwell Bridge will not close today, say Highways England. Picture: ARCHANT

The Orwell bridge will remain open to traffic today, despite strong winds threatening its closure.

Highways England were closely monitoring wind speeds this morning in case the bridge needed to close due to the weather conditions.

However the highways agency has now confirmed that it will remain open, with winds speeds staying likely to peak at 33mph.

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A Highways England spokesman said: "The decision has been taken not to close the Orwell Bridge today.

"We've been monitoring the wind speeds throughout the last 24 hours and they're currently around 28-33mph. We're expecting them to pick up a little between 11 - 1pm today but not close to the threshold to close the bridge."

The bridge typically closes to all traffic if wind gusts of 50mph are predicted to a high degree of certainty in a non-favourable direction - although it has been closed in lower wind speeds.

However, by next winter plans should be in place to reduce the speed limit during high winds to 40mph, keeping the bridge open and reducing traffic congestion in Ipswich.

More: Orwell bridge could stay open during high winds

A yellow weather warning has been put in place for high winds over between 6pm on Saturday and Midnight on Monday meaning that a decision could be made to close the bridge this weekend.

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