The preferred alignments of Ipswich’s Upper Orwell Crossings have been announced by Suffolk County Council.
Details of two new crossings and the refurbishment of another crossing, across the river Orwell have been released.
The main crossing, a vehicle, cyclist and pedestrian bridge, is proposed to connect to the existing highway west of the river, and at a new junction east of the river. The bridge crosses the river at an angle and incorporates an opening section over the navigation channel.
The second crossing will provide a new vehicular link to the Wet Dock Island, and a third crossing is a refurbishment of an existing swing bridge over the lock for use by cyclists and pedestrians.
Suffolk County Councillor leader Colin Noble said: “This is a big announcement for the project, underlining our commitment to completing these crossings.
“These crossings will bring in major benefits to Ipswich and beyond, not only reducing congestion and improving journeys within Ipswich but also encouraging investment in the area and enabling stalled development to come forward.”
Fugro Geoservices are currently undertaking ground investigation works, with samples being taken on land and in the riverbed.Onshore testing has confirmed a significant thickness of Chalk below the site but that it is softer than expected, whilst offshore ground investigation is being completed wth two jack-up barges working in the channel to drill boreholes to depths of up to 80m.
Upper Orwell Crossings- view from above looking south
The images of the preferred alignments do not show details of the structure or any of the supporting piers, as the design of the crossings continues and will be announced ahead of the formal consultation later this year.
It is anticipated construction of the crossings will begin in 2020 with completion scheduled for 2023.