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‘Cracked’ M4 motorway closed
The M4 motorway has been closed to repair cracks in the carriageway’s construction. Drivers are being warned to avoid the route, with chances of long tailbacks on the motorway and diverted routes expected.
The road was shut between junctions 1 and 3 on Friday at 8pm. The route links London from the west to Heathrow airport, before the motorway runs on to the south west of England and into south Wales.
A 7.5 tonne restriction has been in place in the affected area since March this year after hairline cracks in the steel supporting beams were found.
It now appears these have expanded to a degree which requires immediate repair. According to the Highways Agency, “workers found a further crack in a sensitive location which requires us to keep the viaduct closed until the repair is complete”.
The Hammersmith Flyover – a section of the same road closer to the capital – was shut before Christmas last year after structural defects were found with the raised carriageway.
Motorists trying to access London from the west are being urged to use alternative routes via the M3 and M40, while diversions have been created along the A312 and A4 in an attempt to alleviate congestion.
The M4 is the main road link between Heathrow Airport and central London and will be vital in transporting athletes, media and spectators to the Olympic Games later this month.
The Highways Agency expects all the work to be completed before the start of the sporting festival. The road between Chiswick and Feltham is expected to reopen on Thursday morning (12th July).
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