Orwell Bridge: A14 eastbound remains closed in Suffolk after roadworks vehicle breaks down

There has been travel disruption around the Orwell Bridge in Suffolk after the breakdown of a heavy inspection vehicle.

Motorists are being warned to expect delays around the Orwell Bridge near Ipswich during the Friday rush hour after a vehicle conducting a survey on the bridge broke down.

National Highways said the eastbound carriageway of the A14 Orwell Bridge would likely remain closed into Friday night.

A key route in Suffolk, it was closed overnight and had been due to reopen at 6am on Friday following the completion of survey work.

But the piece of machinery being used to inspect the bridge broke down, causing the works to overrun and forcing the closure of the bridge during Friday morning's rush hour.

Engineers identified a hydraulic issue and a decision was made to send a replacement vehicle to continue the bridge repairs.

The road continues to be closed eastbound between junction 55 near Washbrook and junction 57 near Nacton.

Traffic has been building up on surrounding routes as drivers search for diversions.

Traffic chaos on surrounding roads around the Orwell Bridge in Suffolk after the eastbound carriageway was closed. Credit: Dave Kingdom

A spokesman for National Highways said: “The last thing we ever want is for people to be delayed and stuck in traffic.

"Unfortunately, the fact this vehicle’s hydraulic unit has failed essentially ties the vehicle to the carriageway as it has an extending platform that is now stuck in place under the bridge’s surface.

“This underbridge inspection vehicle is the size of a HGV and it has a significant counter balance on the opposite side to the platform.

"This extends very close to the second eastbound lane which why it is unsafe to open that and let traffic pass the scene.

"We are doing everything we can to get this vehicle, repaired, removed and the carriageway back open as soon as possible.”

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