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Orwell Bridge could close due to high winds, drivers warned

PUBLISHED: 16:26 10 December 2019 | UPDATED: 20:02 10 December 2019

High winds in Storm Brendan are currently affecting much of Suffolk and Essex, but Highways England have not closed the Orwell Bridge Picture: GREGG BROWN

High winds in Storm Brendan are currently affecting much of Suffolk and Essex, but Highways England have not closed the Orwell Bridge Picture: GREGG BROWN

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The Orwell Bridge could be closed this evening as high winds from Storm Brendan continue to affect Suffolk.

Met Office data show gusts between 42mph and 47mph in Ipswich and Felixstowe today (Tuesday, December 10), with a chance that even stronger cross-winds could strike this evening.

The wind will be blowing from the south-west, which means it will hit traffic side-on.

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The bridge is closed for safety reasons if gusts reach 50mph, as it could cause high-sided vehicles to flip, although winds blowing as headwinds or tailwinds can reach speeds of up to 60mph before Highways England will close the bridge.

In its latest tweet, Highways England said: "Orwell Bridge wind speeds are currently being monitored. No closures planned to go in this afternoon but possibly this evening. We will update with any further info."

The Norfolk and Suffolk Roads and Armed Policing Team (NSRAPT) Twitter account has also commented to say that it expects wind speeds will close the bridge.

The bridge's closure causes traffic chaos across Ipswich and Felixstowe, leading to gridlock in both towns.

There is no information to indicate whether the closure could be in place before Tuesday night rush hour.

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