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.

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