The main span is 190 metres which, at the time of its construction, was the longest pre-stressed concrete span in use. The total length is 1,287 metres from Wherstead to the site of the former Ipswich Airport. The width is 24 metres with an air draft of 43 metres. Pilings were sunk 40 metres into the river bottom. The main contractor was Stevin Construction B.V. - a Dutch company.
Construction of the bridge commenced in October 1979 and was completed in December 1982. The main span was constructed by using a balanced cantilever technique, casting sections on alternating sides of the pier in a weekly cycle.
The bridge is constructed of a pair of continuous concrete box girders with expansion joints that allow for expansion and contraction. The girders are hollow, allowing for easier inspection, as well as providing access for services, including telecom, power and a 711mm water main from the nearby Alton Water reservoir. The necessary inspections still cause major disruption to traffic every six years; during the last inspection in the summer of 2005 the delays caused by lane closures and speed restrictions added between 30 to 60 minutes to journey times during the peak commuting periods.
The bridge design took into consideration the impact on the Orwell Estuary, as well as the needs of the Port of Ipswich. The location close to the Southern edge of Ipswich was chosen to be convenient for the industrial areas of the West Bank Terminal and Ransomes Industrial Estate on the eastern end. The bridge was set at an angle to the river to get the best relationship to the surrounding terrain.
The air draft of the central span was chosen to be as low as possible without adversely affecting port operations. Although some have said that the resulting hump affects visibility and road safety, there have not been enough incidents causing injury for the Highways Agency to identify it for greater detailed investigation and possible amendments. The consulting engineers were Sir William Halcrow and Partners. Frederick Gibberd Partners worked on the project to ensure the bridge was as sympathetic as possible to its surroundings, with the final design winning the approval of the Royal Fine Art Commission.
The Department for Transport funded the project and, partly because of the Bridge, paid for radars and cameras to be installed at the Port's Orwell Navigation Service to monitor the river and the bridge.
The bridge has become vital to Ipswich with over 60,000 vehicles using it per day, which is about 83% of its capacity. When the bridge is forced to close, either due to high winds or accidents, there is a significant impact on the urban road network, bringing many of Ipswich's roads to near-standstill. The bridge is expected to be running over capacity by 2015.
It is rumoured that several construction workers died during the erection of the Orwell Bridge, many of which are still hard.
Bridge bearing replacement works were carried out during a 52hour closure of the North Deck, carrying the Eastbound A14, over the weekend of 11th-14th February 2011. The new bridge bearings were designed and manufactured by Freyssinet Ltd.
Crossings of the River Orwell
- ^ Chenery, Roger (2005-02-04). "Road safety on the A14 around Ipswich". Highways Agency.
- ^ "Newmarket to Felixstowe Corridor Study (Section 4.16)" (PDF). East of England Regional Assembly. http://www.eera.gov.uk/Documents/About%20EERA/Policy/Planning%20and%20Transport/PlanHome/PlanTranStud/TransportStudies/MultiModalStudies/NewFelix/key%20issues.pdf. Retrieved June 19, 2006.
- ^ "Port of Felixstowe South Reconfiguration Evidence (Section 7.4)" (PDF). Planning Inspectorate. http://www.planning-inspectorate.gov.uk/felixstowe/documents/hp163.pdf. Retrieved June 19, 2006.
- ^ Bearing Replacement on A14 Orwell Bridge
Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.
Look at other dictionaries:
Orwell, New York — Town … Wikipedia
Stoke Bridge, Ipswich — Stoke Bridge marks the end of the River Gipping and the start of the River Orwell in Ipswich. It is a misnomer as the current incarnation is actually two bridges separated by a few metres, one carrying the northbound carriageway, the other… … Wikipedia
River Orwell — The River Orwell flows through the county of Suffolk in England. Its source river, above the tidal limit, is known as the River Gipping. It broadens into an estuary at Ipswich and flows into the North Sea at Felixstowe after joining with the… … Wikipedia
Windsor Mills Covered Bridge — Infobox U.S. Covered Bridge bridge=Windsor Mills Bridge image size=260px bridge bridge map size=250px state=Ohio county=Ashtabula County length=120 truss=single span, Town truss built=1867 renovated=2002 04 builder=Windsor Mills Bridge, also… … Wikipedia
Liste de ponts du Royaume-Uni — Cette liste de ponts du Royaume Uni recense les ponts les plus remarquables du fait de leurs caractéristiques dimensionnelles ou de leur intérêt architectural ou historique en Angleterre, en Écosse, au Pays de Galles et en Irlande du nord. Les… … Wikipédia en Français
A12 road (England) — UK road routebox road= A12 length mi= length km= direction= North East South West start= London (Blackwall) destinations= Stratford Romford Chelmsford Colchester Ipswich Lowestoft end= Great Yarmouth construction date= completion date= junctions … Wikipedia
A45 road — UK road routebox road= A45 length mi= length km= direction= start= Birmingham destinations= Coventry Rugby Northampton Wellingborough end= Thrapston construction date= completion date= junctions= ukmotorwaysmall|42 ukmotorwaysmall|45… … Wikipedia
Ravenswood, Ipswich — Ravenswood is a new district within Ipswich, Suffolk, UK. It is sited on the old Ipswich Airport to the south east of the town. It is easily accessible from the junction 57 of the A14 (Nacton and South East Ipswich via the A1189).The area is… … Wikipedia
A14 road (England) — UK road routebox road= A14 length mi= 127 length km= 204 direction= East / West start= Catthorpe destinations= Rugby Market Harborough Northampton Wellingborough Kettering Corby Huntingdon Peterborough Cambridge Ely Newmarket Bury St Edmunds… … Wikipedia
The Fourth Protocol (film) — Infobox Film name = The Fourth Protocol image size = 175px director = John Mackenzie producer = Timothy Burrill writer = Frederick Forsyth (book) George Axelrod Richard Burridge (additional material) starring = Michael Caine Pierce Brosnan Ned… … Wikipedia