Demolition of a bridge will mean motorists face extra time on their journeys this weekend: a series of M3 diversions will be in place as the motorway is closed to allow the essential work to take place.
Woodlands Bridge, over the M3 near Windlesham, will be demolished this weekend as part of a £174 million road project.
The bridge, which carries Woodlands Lane over the M3 between junction 2 (for the M25) and junction 3 (at Lightwater and the turn off to the A322 towards Bracknell), will be rebuilt next year as part of an ongoing project to upgrade the M3.
The demolition is scheduled to take place during a full closure of the M3 from Friday, November 18 to Monday, November 21.
Highways England said that the scheme will help reduce congestion and make journeys faster and more reliable on the M3, which links London, the south coast and the Solent ports.
More than 130,000 journeys are made on the motorway every day, and drivers will benefit from an extra lane in both directions.
Highways England project manager Pranav Devale said: “Replacing Woodlands Bridge is a significant milestone in this major project to improve journeys on the M3. It is essential we close the M3 to ensure maximum safety for road workers and road users.
“We have taken every step to minimise disruption to motorists and I advise anyone planning a journey on the M3 this weekend to plan ahead and allow extra time.”
The road closes at 9pm on Friday, November 18 and reopens at 5.30am on Monday, November 21. This will allow the project team to work throughout the weekend to demolish the structure, clear the debris and prepare the M3 for reopening.
Woodlands Bridge was constructed in the early 1970s and its condition has deteriorated in recent years, requiring a weight and width restriction over the bridge. Woodlands Lane over the bridge closed to traffic on 28 October, with traffic diverted via nearby Highams Road.
Its replacement is being constructed as part of the M3 junction 2-4a smart motorway project, and is expected to be open by winter 2017.
M3 diversions: the new ways round
There will be four clearly signed diversion routes will be in operation:
- Drivers travelling northbound on the M3 heading to the anti-clockwise M25 (for Gatwick, Dartford and Dover) will be diverted via the A331, A31 and A3 to join the M25 at junction 10.
- Drivers travelling clockwise on the M25 heading to the southbound M3 will use this diversion route in reverse.
- Drivers travelling northbound on the M3 heading for the clockwise M25, London or Heathrow Airport will be diverted via the A322, A329M and M4.
- Drivers travelling southbound on the M3 will be diverted via the M25, and the M4, and then the A329M, A33 or A34.
For the latest information and to register for updates about the M3 smart motorway scheme, visit http://roads.highways.gov.uk/
Real-time traffic information for England’s motorways and major A roads is available:
- From the web at www.highways.gov.uk/traffic or from a phone or mobile device at m.highways.gov.uk
- By phone from the Highways England Customer Contact Centre on 0300 123 5000 at any time. (Calls to 03 numbers are charged at no more than a national call to an 01 or 02 number and are included in all discount schemes and call allowances. This applies to all landlines, mobiles and payphones. Call costs will vary depending on your landline or mobile supplier.) Make sure it’s safe and legal before you call. Before using any mobile, find a safe place to park. Never stop on the hard shoulder of a motorway except in an emergency.
- On Apple and Android mobile devices via the Apple App Store or Google Play Store.
- From Twitter – there are eight regional feeds with live traffic information. For information on roads in the South East follow us at @highwaysSEAST or for the full index visit www.highways.gov.uk/twitter.