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Orwell Bridge closure threat 'borderline' as Storm Erik batters Suffolk

PUBLISHED: 15:18 08 February 2019

The decision to close the Orwell Bridge is borderline according to Highways England. Picture: ARCHANT

The decision to close the Orwell Bridge is borderline according to Highways England. Picture: ARCHANT

The Orwell Bridge could be forced to close this afternoon as wind speeds are predicted to reach 55mph.

Highways Agency have revealed that althought the bridge remains open at present, the situation is “borderline” and they are keeping a close eye on Storm Erik.

There are gusts of anything up to 55mph expected this afternoon, especially in coastal areas as the Atlantic storm brings in a band of wet weather.

Bridge closures depend on wind direction as much as speed and a while a 50mph head-on wind will not close the bridge, a cross-wind at this speed would make it potentially dangerous especially for high-sided vehicles.

The decision is based on wind speeds from certain angles, based on a quadrant diagram.

Fixed road signs are used to close the road, greatly reducing the time it takes to shut and re-open the bridge and drivers are advised to keep an eye out for the warning signs along the A14 as the day progresses,

Further disruption could be caused over the weekend as more high winds are expected, especially on Saturday morning.

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