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The Orwell Bridge

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.

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