Upper Orwell Crossings: August Update

Discussion in 'Upper Orwell Crossings' started by dan5, Aug 6, 2017.

  1. dan5

    dan5Founder MemberStaff Member

    Not much more new information about the Upper Orwell Crossings (vanity bridge)... what we currently know...
    • In May 2017 there was an Upper Orwell Crossing Navigation Working Group meeting
    • Cornhill Redevelopment got approval during purdah to safeguard the investment in return for the vanity bridge
    • Ben Gummer used the vanity bridge as his sole political marketing campaign, which involved t-shirts with the bridge design on.... and subsequently lost his seat
    • Sandy Martin - the new MP - has strongly reaffirmed his position of scrapping the vanity bridge - despite a petition set up by the Conservatives to keep it
    • Colin Noble has been leading efforts by the Conservatives to keep support for the bridge ongoing, he even is attributed to an "not an either or" rhetoric, a joke that even various top conservatives have been repeating without realising
    • Suffolk Chamber have strongly criticised the potential loss of investment of cancelling the vanity bridge, as have Ipswich Central
    • Ipswich Society states it's sister organisation Ipswich Maritime Trust is concerned over access to the marinas
    • There is to be workshops this autumn for the Upper Orwell Crossings - groups to split/mixed - invites/notices were sent out to those who have been involved previously... not sure if it will be widely advertised for new opinions
    • University of Suffolk have opened up the multi-million pound Ipswich Waterfront Innovation Centre which is a glowing success. There are no plans or desire for the tech centre on Enterprise Island as the uni didn't wait around and built it on campus... the vice chancellor clearly stated recently the objective is to grow the student numbers through partner colleges including perhaps in London. He mentioned the Upper Orwell Crossings but no reference to the Island Site.
    • FOI request reveals Ben Gummer deliberately requested the endpoints of the bridge were not shown in the fly-through video (raises concerns about practicalities), SCC staff request a watermark for the designs which could be construed to bring doubt on how representative the concepts will be on the end design and the multi-million pound competition has been put into disrepute over the scoresheets
    • Tampering with the town's traffic lights has hindered traffic flow across the town (look at Google Maps Traffic (or Waze) at non-peak times including at night you will start to see orange lines instead of green) - even if the traffic models were right at the time they were done, it would no longer be the case
    • No progress/update on reassigning the funds from the vanity bridge for a Northern Bypass/Northern Route
    • Ipswich Maritime Festival is approaching...

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  3. OP

    dan5Founder MemberStaff Member

  4. OP

    dan5Founder MemberStaff Member

    Ipswich Maritime Trust August 2017 newsletter:

    My quick visual representation of this information...
    This basically gives some basic options...East either through industrial area on to Holywells Road or join to the road to the roundabout - and - West along Virginia Street (not ideal lol) or through the Riverside Industrial Estate and on to the roundabout. Angle pretty awful.

    I still cannot see how this wouldn't end up being a disaster... A big chunk of monies has been set aside for land acquisition so I think they will be buying some significant amount of land either side!
  5. martinc

    martincFounder Member

    I see Ben came out in its defence on Twitter
  6. martinc

    martincFounder Member

    Interesting news letter. Sounds like it's all sort of changed then and defo mentions an opening section. All those images before looking more and more wrong then,
  7. OP

    dan5Founder MemberStaff Member

    Well the problem with an diagonal bridge is the opening section would need to be larger thus more expensive. Although it is only a minor concern of such a small bridge length, you also lose some road capacity on the bridge for when it is closed.

    This opening section needs to be lined up with the wet dock gates, and this is where it gets interesting... the bridge is supposed to be curved which hints that the opening section needs to be directly centre. You could make it off centre but might hinder the aesthetics.

    I am clearly not an architect but the realities are likely to be a compromise on the design and I still think they will consider a lower bridge which won't be feasible for many yachts having to seek clearance. You never know it might be an ingenious bridge which has to open about 20 times a day! :D Think of the traffic...

    The angle may require the loss of a (central) pillar and I would assume the surrounding two would then need to be wider/larger/stronger. The second deck makes the function more trickier. You would also need to be at a specific angle to respect the design of the bridge... probably Waterfront Bistro/Wine Rack, Bath Street or Stoke Quay.

    I am still concerned that (publicly) they still aren't sure where the bridge will end up... If they are considering linking the bridge to the roundabout at Duke Street this is way from where the traffic is heading/coming from... and the Wherstead Road roundabout doesn't really look suitable for HGV usage as it currently is. Just waiting for SCC to announce the scrapping of the second deck, lowering the primary to what would have been the second deck and having ramps up to the primary for cyclists and pedestrians.
  8. wrightie

    wrightieFounder Member

    I created this a while ago. So the east landing could turn north along Cliff Road linking up to the Duke Street roundabout. Could it be a possibility that a new roundabout is created at Toller Road with the bridge linking onto it? Its also a tight squeeze for a road and and path to link onto Virginia Street in between the housing and the storage. Perhaps the Storage site will be bought and demolished. Finally, there are 464 planned residential units along Discovery Avenue which were planned in 2015, which cant off taken the bridge into account.
  9. martinc

    martincFounder Member

    I just read some of the stuff on the SCC website again, and I know its early days but I don't think they have a clue how to solve any of this yet. All that stuff with the fancy images before was complete crap so far as I can tell, it never was going to look like that as it would just not work.
  10. OP

    dan5Founder MemberStaff Member

    Great observations Jordan.

    Suffolk Highways don't do roundabouts (they replace them!)... so I would be surprised if it included a new roundabout. I had tried to get an answer from Suffolk County Council but no information is forthcoming. I assume a roundabout would be the solution but they wouldn't accept this. The big argument for Ben Gummer against the Northern Bypass is the number of roundabouts on the A12 at Martlesham. I pointed out how many roundabouts were either side of his vanity bridge... it appears this influenced the replacement of one roundabout with traffic lights - the landseer road/nacton road junction It makes me wonder if they will replace Rapier St and Station St roundabouts with traffic lights. Remember they have got that nice UTMC computer system now.

    The storage site will be gone, they cannot have the road to the bridge beside that housing... unless they are going to knock that down? Industrial building is probably cheaper to acquire!

    I thought you nailed it with that diagram, IMT seems to suggest it will be slightly more vertical than that. Not sure how you are supposed to negotiate a ship past the bridge. Especially if powered by wind! This is only an afterthought.

    So we have a nice looking bridge which they really do not know how to connect up. Even all these months after awarding the contract they aren't any closer. Martin, I am sure you are right. It cannot work like the design. I still think it will be more flatter and probably just one deck.
  11. martinc

    martincFounder Member

    wish I'd had the time to go to the IMT meeting last week, but it clashed with two other meetings, and lost out in the draw! I;m sure someone else has advertised a similar meet with SCC to discuss this at some future date, maybe the Ipswich Soc, need to check their calendar,
  12. OP

    dan5Founder MemberStaff Member

    I think Ipswich Society has a meeting in the spring on the UOC.

    I didn't go to the IMT meeting but I don't think it would have been as constructive as we might have expected. It would have been interesting if you didn't know anything about the bridge other than the few photos from local press. From what I understand, none of the talk resulted into the basic information we wanted to know:-
    • Final likely design of the bridge
    • The angle the bridge goes across the river
    • Where each end of the bridge connects up to
    • Will this include new roundabouts or replacement of existing roundabouts to traffic lights?
    • How will the bridge open?
    • Is the second pedestrian/cycle deck being scrapped?
    • How long would it take for the bridge to cycle between road closure, opening, (ship passing), closing and road reopening?
    • Are they considering a lower height bridge now it has an opening section?
    • What would the modelled impact be on local traffic to allow a ship past?
    • What additional road upgrades are necessary to support the bridge?
    • What is the progress on the ("not either or") Northern Bypass?

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