Orwell Bridge to stay OPEN with 40mph speed limit in high winds
- Credit: citizenside.com/MICK WEBB
The A14 Orwell Bridge will be kept under a reduced 40mph speed limit this evening as the new measures for strong winds are rolled out for the first time.
Highways England tweeted to alert drivers to the speed limit which will be put in place from around 6.30pm on Bank Holiday Monday until midnight.
Windy weather is expected to peak again on Tuesday from 10am to 2pm, where highways bosses say they are hoping to keep the bridge open but again reduce the speed limit to 40mph.
Travel chiefs said they will confirm the timings on Tuesday morning.
It is the first time ever that the new speed limit rules will be rolled out on the bridge, after years of campaigning.
The bridge, which carries 60,000 vehicles per day and connects Ipswich with the busy port of Felixstowe, is prone to closures if wind speeds surpass 50mph.
Work to install electronic speed limit control signs on the bridge completed in March.
With the new changeable electronic signage, installed by Highways England over the last few months, the bridge will now not have to close until winds reach 60mph.
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And when wind speeds are predicted to exceed 45mph up to 60mph, a new 40mph driving speed limit will be enforced.
Closures cost Ipswich's economy £1million every day it is closed, according to Ipswich Central, as drivers are diverted to the town centre, causing gridlock.