Link road closures from the M11 J6 to M25 J27, Essex, Thursday, 05 November 2015
The link roads from the M11 J6 northbound to the M25 J27 clockwise and M25 anti clockwise to M11 northbound were closed on the morning of Thursday 07 November due to a Heavy Goods Vehicle shedding its load cooking lard onto the carriageway. The road remained closed into the following day for protracted clean-up operations.
At 11:30 on the morning of Thursday 05 November 2015 our Eastern Regional Control Centre was alerted by Essex Police to reports of a Heavy Goods Vehicle shedding its load onto the carriageway on a link road from the M11 northbound onto the M25 clockwise. It transpired that the vehicle was loaded with cooking lard.
Essex Police were mobilised along with Highways England Traffic Officers and they arrived at scene at 11:42 to discover a considerable amount of debris in the form of cooking lard spread across approximately 100 metres of the carriageway.
Upon further assessment of the incident Essex Police advised that the road would be closed for a long period of time for recovery and clear up work. The link road from the M11 J6 northbound to the M25 clockwise J27 was subsequently closed as the spillage posed a threat to driver safety. Diversions were subsequently instigated with motorists advised to travel to the M25 J26 anti clockwise and turn. Plans were formulated to remove the contaminant (lard) and it was determined that a specialist cleaning company would be required. Our service provider (contractors) advised that approximately 24 tonnes of lard had been spilt, they had a grab lorry in position at 13:30 and that they were awaiting the attendance of the specialist cleaners (one of only 4 in the country) to begin clean-up operations.
At 14:55 the specialist clean up team arrived on scene and once all other ancillary vehicles arrived (recovery vehicles and water bowsers) steam cleaning of the carriageway commenced circa 15:30.
The incident and subsequent closure was not in itself causing significant delays on either the M11 or the M25 and delays of 10 minutes at peak on the approach to the link roads were reported (measured) by our National Traffic Operation Centre. Due to the large area of contaminated carriageway it became apparent that clean-up operations would be protracted and it would be some time before the use of the road would be re-instated. At 17:19 our contractors, in addition to the current closure, closed the link road from the M25 anti clockwise to the M11 northbound. This was necessary as the run off from the steam cleaning was encroaching onto this carriageway.
Operations at scene continued through the night. The steam cleaning of the carriageway was working well, but we had to be wholly satisfied that the road would be safe to use and present no slip hazard before we re-opened it. Secondly an inspection of the road surface would need to be made to determine whether re-surfacing of the carriageway would be required due to any possible deleterious effects of the lard upon it. The following morning circa 10:52 we were able to re-open the link road from the M25 J27 anti clockwise to the M11 J6 northbound and later at 13:07our contractors confirmed that the clean-up was completed and that they were assessing the carriageway for surface damage. This was confirmed as satisfactory and that re-surfacing would not be required. At 13:37 on the 06 November confirmation was received that all work was completed and that all closures had been removed with both link roads now safe to use once again.
Travel media, Social media Twitter feeds and our Highways England website were updated throughout the incident by our National Incident Liaison and Press Officers.
Highways England would like to thank motorists for their patience during this lengthy incident.
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