Drivers warned of Orwell Bridge delays
By Richard SmithDRIVERS were warned last nightto expect further delays on the Orwell Bridge this weekend when another lane will be closed.There have already been long delays westbound on the A14 since work first started on the inspection of the bridge on June 4.
By Richard Smith
DRIVERS were warned last nightto expect further delays on the Orwell Bridge this weekend when another lane will be closed.
There have already been long delays westbound on the A14 since work first started on the inspection of the bridge on June 4.
Now the work is to be extended from today to include the eastbound carriageway and the pedestrian footways will also have to be closed.
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There have been long queues for motorists using the A14 and many motorists have decided to go into Ipswich to avoid the build-up of traffic, but this has caused extra congestion in the town centre.
The closure of a lane in both directions will add to traffic congestion throughout the area and the Highways Agency urged motorists to be patient.
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The £500,000 project on the Orwell Bridge includes ultrasonic testing and radiographic surveys of the structure as well as maintenance and other testing work. Inspectors will be testing the bridge's exterior by using a mobile platform under the bridge.
During the radiographic surveys, which will take place overnight, rolling blocks will operate on the bridge to hold the traffic back for the duration of the inspection. Pedestrians will be escorted across the bridge.
Motorists have been asked to leave extra time for their journeys and to drive carefully through the works.
A speed limit is in operation for the safety of the workforce, with speed cameras operating to penalise drivers if their average speed goes above 40mph.
The Highways Agency asked drivers approaching the roadworks to: keep within the speed limit; get into the correct lane in good time and avoid switching lanes; concentrate on the road, not the roadworks; be alert for works traffic leaving or entering roads; keep a safe distance and to observe all signs.
This is the fourth time the Orwell Bridge has been inspected since it opened in 1982 and the surveys will establish if future maintenance is required. It is expected the surveys will be completed by the end of July.