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A Fourteen

By looboss    
Another shot of the Orwell Bridge just after another summer storm, we are getting them frequently here Smile what a summer!
Taken on the way back from work, glad I had my camera with me.

A bit of history and facts:
The Orwell Bridge was opened to road traffic in 1982 and carries the A14 (then A45) over the River Orwell just south of Ipswich in Suffolk, England.

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.[1] 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.[2] 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.[3]

That's all folks!

Thank you and if you are still reading this don't forget to look at it in large Smile

Tags: Photo journalism River Ipswich Bridge Architecture Orwell Landscape and travel A14 Fourteen

Voters: RoddBC, spikemoz, Goggz and 31 more

Readers' Choice Awards are given to photos that get over 30 votes

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spikemoz 14 2
13 Jul 2007 1:21AM
Very interesting history. Do you have any pic's of the piling operation ?

Great pic'

Goggz 14 2.3k 72 Wales
13 Jul 2007 1:43AM
Nice picture of somewhere I am never likely to visit. There's enough traffic up here Wink

CHeers, Goggz
Joline Plus
15 37 59 United States
13 Jul 2007 1:46AM
What a fantastic image, and very interesting and educational the darkness of the sky.
Brilane 15 5 12 Wales
13 Jul 2007 2:56AM
A dramatic picture, impressive sky. A good write-up too.
13 Jul 2007 8:12AM
Excellent composition, lovely light from a great sky,
SandraKay Plus
14 233 4 United Kingdom
13 Jul 2007 8:22AM
Interesting write-up and a lovely composition, with the boat well-placed in the scene. I like the way you can just see the tops of the lorries on the bridge.
glyndwr 14 103 10 Wales
13 Jul 2007 8:31AM
Like the way the backlight gets the lorry,great story.
pmorgan 14 217 13 England
13 Jul 2007 8:55AM
Lovely low light image, with great back-up narrative!

Alison_S 15 339 United Kingdom
13 Jul 2007 9:13AM
Great light and mood, really interesting description too.

User_Removed 17 386 2 United Kingdom
13 Jul 2007 9:52AM
Excellent picture and description.
jaktis Plus
17 84 Sweden
13 Jul 2007 10:02AM
I will read the hole text later, good light that captures the details on the bridge

woolybill1 Plus
14 38 78 United Kingdom
13 Jul 2007 3:09PM
Crikey me, all this info and a photograph too!!!!

Another well-conceived and informative shot making excellent use of what little light there was.

graceland 16 2.5k 2 United Kingdom
13 Jul 2007 5:03PM
I put a mod of this super Picture on ,Strange It came on Twice Never Mide

Nice one well done
phototime 15 8 United Kingdom
13 Jul 2007 7:28PM
Fantastic image and excellent description,superb composition and beautiful light.

Thankyou for the HC on my image.

looboss 14 3.1k 7 United Kingdom
13 Jul 2007 7:32PM
Thanks everyone and thanks for the mod

a lot more people need to see this me thinks Smile
kevski 14 14 United Kingdom
13 Jul 2007 10:02PM
Beautiful sky.Superb shot.
imagio 15 12 1 England
13 Jul 2007 11:52PM
Excellent image and commentary

dianah 15 24.5k 4 United Kingdom
14 Jul 2007 4:36PM
I really like the dark image here..the light in the sky is just beautiful Luis.
TyChee Plus
16 275 1 United States
14 Jul 2007 6:46PM
Excellent image and writeup!
Guillaume 14 119 2 United Kingdom
15 Jul 2007 11:24AM
Luis, this is a wonderfull shot. Great perspective with subyle lighting. Glad to be #30. This is a well deserved RC. Click

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