M20 Closure Both Directions J1 - J4 Kent. Saturday 27 August 2016

The M20 in Kent was closed in both direc­tions on Sat­ur­day 27 August 2016.   The coast­bound (east­bound) car­riage­way was closed between J1, the junc­tion with M25 near Swan­ley and J4, near Ley­bourne.   The oppo­site Lon­don­bound (west­bound) car­riage­way was closed between J4 and J2.  A HGV trans­port­ing a dig­ger struck a foot­bridge which spanned the motor­way.  The M26 was also closed east­bound between the M25 J5 and the M20 J3.

 M20.  Bridge Strike

Although the motor­way had to be closed in both direc­tions, the inci­dent actu­ally
hap­pened on the Lon­donbound car­riage­way.  At around 12.15pm on Sat­ur­day
after­noon, a dig­ger which was being trans­ported by a lorry hit a pedes­trian foot­bridge that spanned the motor­way, result­ing in the foot­bridge col­laps­ing and the motor­way being closed.  Diver­sions were quickly put into place to route traf­fic around the closure.

Motorway message sign on the M25

High­ways Eng­land worked hard with our part­ners and the emer­gency ser­vices to help release those motorists caught inside the clo­sure of the motor­way.   Motorists that were stuck near the scene of the inci­dent were all released by 3.30pm on Saturday.

Diverted traffic

Through­out the dura­tion of the motor­way clo­sure, infor­ma­tion was pro­vided to our cus­tomers in real-time via our elec­tronic vari­able mes­sage signs (VMS) at the
road­side, via the media, on our twit­ter accounts, via the High­ways Eng­land web­sites and to cus­tomers call­ing our cus­tomer con­tact centre.

Fol­low­ing an on-site police inves­ti­ga­tion site, the scene was then handed over to High­ways Eng­land just after 6pm on Saturday.

High­ways Eng­land and its con­trac­tors then imme­di­ately set about remov­ing the
vehi­cles involved in the inci­dent and worked around the clock through Sat­ur­day night and into Sun­day, to cut-up and remove the sec­tion of bridge which had fallen onto the carriageway.

Two cranes– one 250 tonne and the other 350 tonne, were used in this very com­plex oper­a­tion to clear the scene.

Work continues through the night.

Dawn on the M20.  Work continues unabated.

Work continues on the M20 through Sunday 28 August
Also on Sat­ur­day and overnight into Sun­day, struc­tural engi­neers made robust inspec­tions of the remain­ing ele­vated sec­tion of the foot­bridge.  These inspec­tions showed that the struc­ture was safe and the oper­a­tion to remove it is being car­ried out between 8pm on Fri­day 2 Sep­tem­ber and 6am on Mon­day 5 September.

Once the road sur­face was clear, experts assessed the con­di­tion of the
Lon­don­bound car­riage­way.  Repairs were then car­ried out which allowed the
car­riage­way to be safely reopened.   As an addi­tional safety mea­sure, a tem­po­rary 50mph speed limit was intro­duced in the area.  Dri­vers are reminded to abide by this limit which is in place for the safety of all road users.

Clear-up work on the M20
To allow the remain­ing sec­tion of foot­bridge to be safely removed, the coast­bound M20 will be closed between junc­tions 1 and 4 and Lon­don­bound between junc­tions 4 and 2, from 8pm on Fri­day 2 Sep­tem­ber until 6am on Mon­day 5 Sep­tem­ber.  The coast­bound M26 will also be closed from the M25 junc­tion 5 dur­ing that period.


Did you find this bul­letin use­ful?  We really wel­come your feed­back.  Please click here to help us.  Thank you.