Orwell Bridge to be shut for major work

THOUSANDS of cars and lorries will be diverted through Ipswich as major work takes place on the Orwell Bridge, it was revealed today.Highways chiefs said the work to resurface all four lanes of the mile-long bridge would take place over the next two weekends during the night.

THOUSANDS of cars and lorries will be diverted through Ipswich as major work takes place on the Orwell Bridge, it was revealed today.

Highways chiefs said the work to resurface all four lanes of the mile-long bridge would take place over the next two weekends during the night.

But it will mean that between 7pm and 7am people who normally use the bridge will have to face diversions – and residents will be braced for night-time congestion, noise and fumes.

The Highways Agency said that weather permitting the work will start tomorrow when the westbound carriageway will be closed between the Nacton and Wherstead interchanges.

Traffic heading in the direction from Felixstowe to Bury St Edmunds will have to come off the A14 and use the A1156, A1189 and A1214 until 7am Sunday .

The following weekend – overnight October 4 and October 5 – the eastbound carriageway will be done using the same diversions.

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There will be separate diversions for traffic using the A137 and which would normally use the 21-year-old bridge.

Roger Chenery, Highways Agency project manager, said: "It is necessary to close the A14 Orwell Bridge so that resurfacing and repair work can be carried out safely and quickly.

"We are closing the bridge in each direction at separate times to cause the least disruption.

"However, I would advise drivers to allow extra time as a diversion route through Ipswich will be in operation."

The work is being carried out by Amey Mouchel of Great Blakenham and La Farge.

The Highways Agency has advised drivers to take extra care in the area of the roadworks for their safety and those carrying out the works – 11 road workers were killed between October 2000 and February 2002 by moving traffic.

Drivers should keep to the speed limits imposed, get into the correct lane in good time, concentrate on the road ahead and not the roadworks, be alert for traffic leaving and entering the roadworks site, keep a safe distance, and observe all signs.

WEBLINK: www.highways.gov.uk

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