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Orwell Bridge CLOSED due to strong winds

PUBLISHED: 16:43 14 January 2020 | UPDATED: 17:09 14 January 2020

The Orwell Bridge has closed due to high winds. Picture: HIGHWAYS ENGLAND

The Orwell Bridge has closed due to high winds. Picture: HIGHWAYS ENGLAND

Archant

The Orwell Bridge has been closed by Highways England due to strong winds causing traffic chaos across Ipswich.

The Orwell Bridge aerodynamic study is expected in January 2020. Picture: ARCHANTThe Orwell Bridge aerodynamic study is expected in January 2020. Picture: ARCHANT

It is the second time in two days that the bridge has been closed after officials were forced to stop all traffic crossing the river yesterday, January 13.

In an earlier tweet, the authority said: "We have had our forecast update and we have decided to CLOSE the Orwell Bridge from 5pm today to 3am tomorrow morning.

"We will monitor wind speeds throughout the night and update you all if we can re-open it sooner."

The road has since been coned off and is now closed to all vehicles.

The planned diversion route is via the A1156, A1189 and A1214 through Ipswich which will be "clearly" sign-posted.

The closure is causing chaos on Ipswich's roads.

Wherstead Road is nearly at a stand still along with London Road, Norwich Road and Nacton Road.

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There are long delays on the A14 which is causing issues on the A12 at Copdock and at the Seven Hills roundabout.

In a statement, a Highways England spokesman said: "Highways England is advising road users in the East of England that the Orwell Bridge in Suffolk is likely to close at 5pm this evening (Tuesday, January 14) for safety reasons, due to high winds.

"Once closed, Highways England will continue to monitor wind speeds closely before making a decision about when to reopen the A14 bridge.

"The worst of the weather is expected between 5pm and 3am tomorrow morning (Wednesday, January 15) but wind speeds will be assessed throughout this period.

"However, the bridge is expected to reopen at 3am well before the morning rush hour."

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