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29 August 2016, 08:37 | Updated: 29 August 2016, 09:18
Highways England says half of footbridge still standing over the M20 is safe and it will be removed in the next few weeks
Latest Statement from Highways England
Road users are advised that the M20 is now fully reopened, along with the coast-bound M26 link to the M20, after an incident yesterday in which a lorry struck a footbridge crossing the motorway.
A temporary 50mph limit is in place in the area on both carriageways.
A digger being transported by a lorry hit the pedestrian footbridge, resulting in the structure collapsing and the motorway being closed in both directions between junctions 1 and 4.
Highways England and its contractors have been working around the clock to remove the vehicles involved in the incident, and to cut up and remove from the scene the section of bridge which has fallen on to the carriageway.
Yesterday and overnight robust inspections were made of the remaining elevated section of the footbridge. These have shown the structure to be safe. The operation to remove it will be done in the coming weeks.
As an additional safety measure a temporary 50mph speed limit remains in the area on both carriageways. Drivers are reminded to abide by the limit which is in place for the safety of all road users.
Catherine Brookes, Highways England Chief Highway Engineer, said:
“The 50mph speed limit will remain in place until work to remove the rest of the footbridge is completed. We urge drivers to respect the limit for their safety and that of other road users, and thank them for their patience as we carry out this essential work.”
“I would also like to thank the teams who have worked hard on this complex operation to clear and repair the scene after such a serious incident.”
Once the road surface was clear, experts assessed the condition of the carriageway and necessary repairs were carried out to allow the road to be safely reopened.