Upper Orwell Crossing scheme in Ipswich will be 'catalyst for the town' say business leaders
Simon Lee Photography
The Upper Orwell Crossings in Ipswich will play 'a big part in the town's renaissance' according to business leaders as they visited investigation works for the £100 million project.
Representatives from Suffolk County Council and business groups met to discuss the benefits of the scheme during a site visit of investigation works which will be used to draw up the final plans.
The proposals include the construction of three bridges in the Waterfront area with the aim of easing congestion in the star Lane/Fore Street area of Ipswich and opening up the Island site in the Wet Dock area.
Investigation works will reveal the underlying properties of the riverbed allowing engineers to design where the foundations will sit. Construction is expected to start in 2020, with completion scheduled for 2023.
However MP Sandy Martin has previously stated he is not in favour of the largest bridge, linking Cliff Quay with the West Bank of the river, and would rather see the money put towards a northern by-pass.
But Councillor Colin Noble, leader of Suffolk County Council backed the plans, describing it as a ‘catalyst’ for the regeneration of the south of the town.
He said: “This is an exciting step in the design process for the three crossings. The scheme will improve journeys and provide greater connection opportunities for many people in Ipswich, there are also massive economic benefits to the scheme, as the three crossings will enable the redevelopment of the Wet Dock Island and continued success of the Waterfront area.
“The crossings will also act as a catalyst for the regeneration of the southern area of Ipswich.
“These are ambitious targets but Suffolk County Council is ambitious and we want to provide the best we can for the town and in turn, the rest of the county.”
Terry Hunt, chairman of the Ipswich Vision Board, said: “These crossings will be important for Ipswich in many ways, and will play a big part in the town’s renaissance, along with the Cornhill project, the completion of the so-called Wine Rack, and a number of other exciting developments.”
David Redhead, from Suffolk Chamber of Commerce, described the project as a ‘vital piece of the jigsaw’ for the town alongside improvements to junctions on the A14 and procedures for the closure of the Orwell bridge.