Yellow wind warning issued with predicted gusts of up to 60mph

Highways England believe the bridge will remain open Picture: CHARLOTTE BOND

The Orwell Bridge currently closes when wind speeds reach 50mph, however work is being carried out to minimise the impact of high winds. - Credit: Charlotte Bond

The Orwell Bridge in Ipswich could be forced to close due to strong winds and blustery showers arriving midweek, as the Met Office issues a yellow weather warning for the whole of East Anglia. 

Strong winds accompanied by heavy and blustery showers may bring some disruption to most of the country from Wednesday, with some delays to road, rail, air and ferry transport to be expected. 

The weather warning, which was issued by the Met Office, is in place from 9pm on Wednesday through to 3pm on Thursday. 

According to forecasters in East Anglia, there will be wind gusts of between 50mph and 55mph, while gusts of 60mph could be recorded along exposed coasts. 

The Met Office warned that there may be some short-term loss of power and some bus and train services will be affected. 

It also said to expect delays for high-sided vehicles on exposed routes and bridges. 

The Orwell Bridge, which carries the dual carriageway over the river at Ipswich, currently closes when winds get above 50mph (80km/h).

Work on installing a new communication system, which includes electronic signs that display changeable speed limits during high winds, began at the end of January and is still underway. 

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Workers are still on site and the changes are expected to be finished by the end of the month.

Highways England aimed to complete most of this work using lane closures so that traffic could still use the bridge whilst teams were working.

However, they found that motorists were not complying with the temporary speed limits through the roadworks, which was putting both its workforce and drivers at risk.

Drivers flouting speed limits near roadworks were dubbed "selfish" by Suffolk Coastal MP Therese Coffey - after their behaviour caused more Orwell Bridge closures.

A spokesman for Highways England said: "For safety reasons, we will now need to fully close the A14 between junctions 55 and 58 for our work to take place.

"Our work will now be done on weeknights between the hours of 10pm to 6am from Tuesday, February 16 to Friday, March 19 inclusive, and the road will be closed during those hours."

The overnight closures apply every weekday until March 12, with one carriageway closed at a time during each phase between 10pm and 6am.

The closures stretch from junction 55 for Copdock and junction 58 for Seven Hills.