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Planned Orwell Bridge closures start TOMORROW

PUBLISHED: 17:30 13 October 2019 | UPDATED: 19:59 13 October 2019

There has been traffic chaos on the Orwell Bridge tonight following a series of incidents Picture: ARCHANT

There has been traffic chaos on the Orwell Bridge tonight following a series of incidents Picture: ARCHANT

Archant

The Orwell Bridge will be closed overnight this week to allow for safety repairs, it has been confirmed.

The overnight closures were announced last month, and motorists were warned they would happen some time in October.

Now Highways England have confirmed the first closure will take place on Monday night - meaning traffic will not be able to cross the landmark bridge in either direction between 8pm and 6am.

The works were originally expected to take two weeks, and drivers feared this would cause major disruption, especially for early morning commuters.

However, now the dates have been finalised and drivers are being advised the closures will run until Monday, October 21, and on weeknights only, which will reduce the impact on traffic.

During this time, contractors from Graham Construction will work to replace bridge joints and carry out carriageway repairs.

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Drivers are advised that a clearly sign-posted diversion will be put in place.

The planned closures have once again highlighted the fact there is not an obvious diversion route and that traffic will have to snake through the town centre.

A resident who will be affected as a result of the diversion said on our Facebook page: "I look forward to the rumbling and banging of containers all night long.

"Time for an alternative northern bypass, plenty of countryside available. Might as well build it as in another 30 years the countryside will be filled with housing developments. Get the road in early as part of the infrastructure.

"I love the countryside, but it IS needed."

However, there is much opposition to the proposals for a northern route around Ipswich and last week MP Dan Poulter officially called for the plans to be scrapped.

Instead, he wants the defunct proposals for an Upper Orwell crossing to be re-examined.

He said: "What the evidence tells us is that in the longer term we should look again at the wet dock crossing as a viable and sensible option to improve traffic flow in the town and regenerate parts of the town by bringing investment into Ipswich. We would all be happy to go to the PM and the minister for transport and ask for additional funding."


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