M25 Closure J27 - J26 Both Directions, Hertfordshire/Essex. Tuesday 09 December 2014
The M25 in Hertfordshire/Essex was closed on Tuesday 09 December between J23 – J27 due to a multi-vehicle collision which involved 3 HGV’s and a car. The scene of the incident was between J26 – J27. One of the HGV’s crossed over the carriageway colliding with a section of concrete central reservation barrier and pushing it onto the main carriageway. A substantial diesel spillage and the central reservation barrier damage caused the closure.
Shortly before 01:50 this very serious crossover collision was responded to by Highways Agency and Essex Police. Fire Service and Ambulance crews and Met Police additionally assisted with this incident. During the early hours Highways Agency Traffic Officers undertook operations to clear considerable amounts of trapped traffic and deployed significant resources to undertake this task and close the appropriate exit and entry slip roads. Volumes of trapped traffic were considerable with a number of HGV’s having to be turned around. M25 clockwise carriageway had 1 mile of trapped traffic and the anti-clockwise had just over 3 miles of trapped traffic, all of which had to be turned to return to previous junctions.
Closure of the motorway clockwise direction was initially extended back to J25, however later in the morning this situation was amended. Just before 07:00 the decision was taken to close the M25 from further afield to allow strategic traffic to divert more effectively. The clockwise carriageway was closed at J23 to allow traffic to use the A1 southbound, A406 (North Circular) and M11 northbound to re-join the M25 motorway at J27. The anti-clockwise diversion being the reverse of this route. Severe delays of over 1 hour were being experienced as the morning peak began to affect the approaching routes. Throughout the morning and afternoon recovery operations were carried out and a prolonged and extensive accident investigation was conducted by Essex Police.
At 12:55 the M25 was re-opened from J23 to J25 clockwise allowing traffic to now join the A10 southbound to the A406. Importantly shortly after 15:00, 2 lanes were re-opened in both directions as vehicle recovery operations were completed. During the evening Highways Agency contractors began repair works and positively, an additional lane was re-opened on the anti-clockwise just after 18:30 pm.
The extent and severity of this incident has required that 2 lanes in either direction are being resurfaced overnight between 22:00 and 06:00. Highways Agency contractors are working through the night to complete the resurfacing which will enable three lanes to be operational in each direction to minimise disruption for the morning peak.
Repairs to the central concrete barrier will however take more time and for this reason lane four in each direction is expected to be out of action for a few days. At least 40 metres of the structure will need to be rebuilt – with temporary safety barrier in place until the permanent concrete barrier is fully set and strong enough.
Traffic through the area of roadworks between junctions 26 and 27 will be controlled using the Smart Motorway technology to keep congestion to the minimum possible.
Throughout this incident, Highways Agency updated customers via our website www.highways.gov.uk/traffic-information/ and via our regional twitter feeds @HATraffic_seast @HATraffic_east.
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