Orwell Bridge to stay open following overnight closure

Traffic was back on the Orwell Bridge after the overnight closure. Picture: MICK WEBB

Traffic was back on the Orwell Bridge after the overnight closure. Picture: MICK WEBB - Credit: citizenside.com

The Orwell Bridge is to stay open after its seven-hour closure ended during the middle of this morning’s rush hour.

The bridge was closed just after midnight after Highways England shut it because of high winds as Monday’s storm hit the region.

It was expected to stay shut until Monday afternoon after the Met Office warned that the storm would continue until then – but overnight winds were not as strong as had been forecast and Highways England reopened the bridge just before 7.30am.

There had been fears that it could close again later in the day, but a spokesman for the agency said officials had been advised by the Met Office that high winds would not return.

He said: “We keep the situation under constant review. That is why we were able to open the bridge this morning. We don’t just shut it and forget about it until it is due to reopen.”

Highways Agency and Met Office staff had worked through the night monitoring the situation before taking the decision to reopen the bridge.

The removal of the closure came too late to prevent rush-hour gridlock in Ipswich as roads became totally blocked with traffic as people headed to work.

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Traffic around the town remained busy until the mid-morning – but the rain and poor weather contributed to keeping away all but the hardiest shoppers from Ipswich town centre.

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