02/09/2016 11:07 BST | Updated 02/09/2016 17:34 BST

M20 Road Closure Times And Diversion: Key Motorway To Shut At Weekend For Repairs After Footbridge Collapse

Clearly signed diversions will be in place to assist motorists.

Steve Parsons/PA Wire
The scene on the M20 after a lorry hit a motorway footbridge, causing it to collapse last Bank Holiday weekend.

A key section of the M20 motorway will be closed in both directions all weekend to enable a damaged footbridge to be removed.

The busy motorway will shut in Kent from 8pm on Friday until 6am on Monday to allow Highways England (HE) to carry out the work.

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. 

Steve Parsons/PA Wire
A motorcycle lies on the ground under thecollapsed bridge on the M20. The rider told how he feels lucky after coming off his bike to escape serious injury when the bridge collapsed in front of him.

Traffic chaos was sparked when the footbridge was hit by a digger being transported on the back of a lorry last Saturday, during the August bank holiday weekend.

The collapsed section 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.

Steve Parsons/PA Wire
The scene on the M20 motorway after a lorry hit a motorway bridge, causing it to collapse.

“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.”

A major incident was declared last weekend on the main route to the Channel Tunnel and the Port of Dover, with images on social media showing remains of the footbridge and damaged vehicles on the carriageway.

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The bridge collapsed on the M20 near Addington Kent.

Andy Sunnucks, 24, who saw the incident, said: “We were about 15 cars back on the same carriageway as the collision.

“It looked like a lorry had jackknifed, and I could see half the bridge was missing. We went to have a look and the back end of the lorry was in pieces.”

The graphic designer, a passenger travelling from Maidstone to Sevenoaks, said: “The motorcyclist was laying down underneath his bike.”

A motorcyclist in his 50s was taken to hospital in Tunbridge Wells with suspected broken ribs following the incident and the driver of the lorry was treated for shock at the scene.