Council to scrap £97m Orwell three bridges plan

Aaron Morby 5 years ago
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Suffolk County Council has scrapped the Orwell Bridge project due to soaring costs.

Council to halt ambitious plan to build three bridges in Ipswich over the river Orwell
Council to halt ambitious plan to build three bridges in Ipswich over the river Orwell

The ambitious scheme to build three bridges in Ipswich were put on hold by the council last October pending a detailed cost review.

Papers released by the council now reveal that efforts to raise an extra £43m to proceed with the innovative bridge scheme have failed.

The council cabinet is now due to formally ratify recommendations to halt the bridge project on Tuesday 29 January.

The Upper Orwell Crossings project started in 2015 with initial estimated project costs being £97m for three bridges across the River Orwell in Ipswich.

The centrepiece of the project was a striking arching road bridge with separate offset pedestrian walkways supported on the same branching bridge piers.

This was intended to spans the Orwell to the south of the Wet Dock Island, connecting the east and west banks.

The third crossing point was to be an improved pedestrian crossing over the Prince Philip Lock, which would connect the east bank to the Wet Dock Island.

Costs were reassessed in 2018 and were independently verified by engineer Jacobs. It put the final project bill at up to £140m due to a range of factors including ground investigation costs, changes in bridge design post consultation and unforeseen procurement costs.

Designs for the main bridge project with an adjacent separated walkway supported by common piers were drawn-up by Foster + Partners.

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