M20 To Close For Bridge Removal

2 September 2016, 12:26 | Updated: 2 September 2016, 12:34

Work will get underway tonight (Friday) to remove the still-standing part of the collapsed footbridge over the M20 in Kent.

A stretch of the motorway will be closed in both directions until 6am Monday morning to allow the work to take place.

The bridge came down on to the road near West Malling last Saturday, when it was hit by a digger which was being transported on the back of a lorry during the August bank holiday weekend.

Only one person, a motorcyclist, was injured. Jim Shaw, 73, from London, suffered broken ribs after throwing himself from his bike just in time.

The collapsed section of the bridge was removed and the road was reopened the following day, but further work involving around 100 people is required to take away the remaining structure.

HE's chief highway engineer Catherine Brookes said: "Safety remains Highways England's top priority. We worked hard last weekend to reopen the M20 as soon as it was safe to do so and I would like to thank drivers for their patience while we did this.

"The remaining section of the bridge has been assessed and is safe for traffic to pass underneath with a temporary 50mph speed limit.

"We naturally need to remove it under safe controlled conditions this weekend. We will use the closures to carry out as much work as possible, including barrier repairs, resurfacing and litter-picking. We will start planning the replacement in due course.''

The coast-bound carriageway will be closed between junctions one and four, while the London-bound road will be shut between junctions four and two.

HE said "clearly signed diversions will be in place'' to assist motorists.

Date time:020001 SEP 16