Ground investigations for Ipswich’s Upper Orwell Crossings to begin in the new year


Structural and environmental tests to finalise the detailed design for the Upper Orwell Crossings in Ipswich are to begin early in 2018.

The ground investigation works, which could last up to three months, are scheduled to begin on 15 January 2018. Contractors Fugro GeoServices Ltd will dig trial holes and deep boreholes both on land and in the water.

The works will determine the underlying properties of the ground and river bed. Geotechnical Engineers will analyse the information and use it to design the foundations on which the three bridges will sit.

Land based work will take place between 7am and 7pm Monday to Friday and 7am and 1pm on Saturdays, while the work in the water will be carried out 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Noise levels will be monitored closely throughout the works.

There will also be a period where samples are required on pavements and roads – however this work will be undertaken outside of the morning and evening rush hour periods to minimise disruption to road users.

Councillor Colin Noble, Leader of Suffolk County Council, said:

“These investigations are a significant step forward for the Upper Orwell Crossings project and demonstrates our commitment to deliver this major infrastructure project that will deliver significant transport benefits in Ipswich. 

“This work will help shape the design of the three bridges, which our project team is currently working on with architects Foster + Partners and consultants WSP.

“These designs will be presented to the public ahead of the formal consultation in autumn 2018.”

Members of the public who live near to the ground investigation works can expect to receive letters informing them of the process before Christmas.

The timeline for the crossings is still on track and it is anticipated construction of the crossings will begin in 2020 with completion scheduled for 2023. This is subject to the outcome of the design and build process which will begin in summer 2018.