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Orwell Bridge, near Ipswich, to close due to strong winds from Storm Isha

The Orwell Bridge will be closed from noon on Sunday as high winds are expected to hit the county due to Storm Isha.

The bridge, which lies on the outskirts of Ipswich and spans the Orwell Estuary, is scheduled to be shut for up to 24 hours.

National Highways will monitor wind speeds throughout and the bridge could be reopened sooner if it is safe to do so.

The Orwell Bridge, near Ipswich
The Orwell Bridge, near Ipswich

Suffolk has been issued a yellow warning by the Met Office which predicts very strong and potentially damaging winds will reach the county on Sunday afternoon continuing through to the evening and overnight.

The decision to close the bridge at noon has been taken to allow motorists to plan alternative routes and for National Highways to safely install the closure and diversions ahead of the predicted high winds.

The eastbound diversion will take traffic from the A14 at junction 55 Copdock Mill onto the A1214 through Ipswich before taking the second exit at Woodbridge Road roundabout onto the A1189 to Felixstowe Road.

This continues onto A1156 before rejoining the eastbound A14 at J58 Levington. The westbound diversion will take the same route in reverse.

Martin Fellows, National Highways regional director for the East, said the full closure of Orwell Bridge was only put in place when necessary, and for the safety of the travelling public.

He said: “We understand the inconvenience the closure of Orwell Bridge causes across the region, but our priority will always be public safety. The high winds we are expecting mean it would be unsafe to try and operate the bridge under those conditions.

“Throughout the closure we will continue to work with the Met Office and as soon as we are confident the bridge can be safely reopened, we will do so.”