The Upper Orwell Crossings – Ground Investigations

We have received a newsletter from Suffolk County Council regarding the current progress on the proposed crossings. Most of it is already known but it does go into some detail regarding the actual site investigations along with permitted noise periods and how they are organising the whole thing.  The full story so far is available on the Suffolk County Council web site.

Main Points


They are bringing in a “Jack Up Rig” to do the drilling so that they can get core samples. We have had a few of these in the port over the years as there is a company close to the lock that refurbishes them. Here is a shot that I took back in 2014 of one such vessel. (This isn’t the one to be used – just an example)

jack up rig

This will be used as a base for the drilling.

Noise Levels

There are two sets of permitted times:
Land Based Investigations – Monday to Friday: 7am-7pm and Saturday: 7am – 1pm
River Based Investigations: Monday to Sunday – 24 hours (!)
Cable percussion drilling limited to 7am-11pm except for the New Cut (7am-7pm).

The Site Compound

I wondered what was going on with this. The plan is to use the open ground between 7 Anchor Street and the James Hehir Building.

Screen Shot 2017-12-26 at 12.36.35

All the time that we have lived around here (5 1/2 years) there have been some battered wooden boards up around this site. I understand that it is owned by the University but is slated to be turned into apartments some time (hearsay so don’t quote me). The boards had been decorated but still looked pretty untidy. Suddenly, some months ago, the boarding was taken down and replaced with some nice, new, wire fencing. My first thought was – why are they spending money on this. Well, we have the answer. It is all part of the Orwell Crossing.

site compound

This area is known, now, as “The Site Compound”. No work is to be carried out there but its three main principal uses are:

  • provide staff welfare and meeting facilities
  • provide for secure storage and occasional maintenance of equipment, plant and materials
  • undertake logging and photographing of borehole cores collected prior to being sent for laboratory analysis

The current estimate is that the ground investigations will take approximately 12 weeks to complete.

We shall see. I will keep you up to date when I can.

I can’t resist a sunny day on the waterfront

I had to go down to the Aqua Pharmacy onDuke Street. I always go along the waterfront and around the Cult Cafe. It is always a nice trip but on a sunny day, like today, it is a special ride in my powered wheelchair. Who can resist views like this one:


Or even this of Neptune Marina?

neptune marina

We are very lucky to live around here.

Suntis is in, yet again. It seems that it is returning every week at the moment. The wood business must be very good. Unusually, they had the cranes sitting and waiting. Normally, they let Suntis come in and have the cranes there for the next day.

The two guys in high-vis in the above image are just about to take the walkway back into the lock. The walkway is a standard feature of the lock and gives people a place to get off or to moor to when the water level is at its lowest. However,Suntis can’t get through whilst it is in place so they bring it down to Orwell Quay/Gasworks Quay temporarily.

They tie the little motor launch onto the back end and then steer it back.


Lastly, here is a shot of Suntis and the cranes against the Aurora restaurant.


A mix of the traditional and the new.

News about the Flood Barrier

It seems that it is nearly finished. They have installed the 200 ton tidal gate – much the same as they use for the Thames Barrier down in Greenwich. There is a full article about the current status on the Ipswich Star web site.

There is a good stop motion video onYouTube that shows the installation of the gate.


Watch it a second time and see the sand/gravel train that we used to see, from our old apartment,  over on the West Bank of the docks. It is fun to watch it going backwards and forwards as it shunts the various wagons into the dock and back. (Sorry – I am a bit of a train buff!).


Winter starts here

To my mind, Winter is December, January and February. It has been chilly up to now in December but today the temperature has hovered around 0C – 1C (32 – 34F). We were going out but, as this required a trip up through our old village of Tuddenham St. Martin, we put it off. Tuddenham sits in the valley of the river Fynn and has “very” steep hills in and out. Why would we want to avoid steep hills?

snow waterfrontsnow waterfront2

Our Skoda Yeti isn’t four wheel drive and, when we last had a Yeti in Tuddenham, even it had trouble with the slopes. This was the run down from our garage. You can see that we were considerably higher than the road, which is steeply downhill!


The first snow of winter. What chance a white Christmas?

snow podium

Pretty soon after this, there were children playing out on the podium. Unfortunately, from a photographer’s point of view, the snow was “ruined”!

When it had stopped snowing, we had some fun car tracks in the Aurora car park.

snow tracks

News on the Winerack

There was a major article in the Ipswich Star, yesterday, all about developments with the Winerack.

The gist is this.

  • Contracts have been signed and work will begin in January 2018 for completion by Christmas 2020.
  • Contracts have been awarded to R. G. Carter Construction.
  • Utilities work has begun and a tower crane will be on site sometime during May 2018.

So, sometime soon (!) this view that I had this morning from my bedroom window will be a thing of the past. Needless to say, I will try and record things as they go along.


It should be noted that the tall, white building to the left – The Mill – is still not completed inside although some floors are occupied.

There was another interesting article in the Ipswich Star recently telling us that there are no delays for the new bridges over the River Orwell in Ipswich. Again, you can read the full story HERE.


This image is (c) Foster + Partners.

I am fascinated as to how they will build a bridge at this point with sufficient clearance for the traffic that uses the Wet Dock – Dutch Tall Ships spring to mind – given the height of the Orwell Bridge.


Photo from Wikipedia.

Still, I assume  that they have taken all of this into account!

Suntis arrives

Since moving, I don’t really get to see the comings and goings of Suntis. I normally only see them unloading. However, today with my new camera in my pocket, I drew up in the car just in time.

suntis arrives

suntis mooring

The crew are even getting into the Christmas spirit.

suntis tree

I have some news on the Winerack but I will do a separate posting for that in the next couple of days.

Christmas Tree on the Waterfront

We went out for dinner last night and, on the way back, we drove along the Waterfront through Isaacs. It is very nicely lit up along there.

waterfront lights

There was a lot of fuss last year because the council put up an artificial tree in Cornhill, in the middle of Ipswich. After all the trouble, they decided to put a real tree there this year and were left with the artificial one. It was decided that an ideal place was outside the University building on the waterfront. I think that they were right.


The base isn’t very attractive but I like the tree and think that the position suits it. (I missed getting a wider angle shot to show it in situ but I will try for that another time. There is plenty of time until Christmas.)