Drivers heading out of Sussex in a couple of weeks’ time and aiming to use the M3 are being advised that a section of the motorway will be shut.
It will be closed in both directions between junction 2 (for the M25) and junction 3 (for Bagshot) over the weekend of May 5-8 as part of work to replace a bridge.
The closure, from 9pm on Friday May 5 until 5.30am on Monday May 8, is to allow the beams of Woodlands Bridge to be safely lifted into position.
Clearly signed diversions will be in place and Highways England is advising drivers to plan their journeys in advance, and to leave extra time.
Installing bridge beams is a large and complex task, so it is essential the M3 is closed to ensure maximum safety for road users and road workers.
Highways England is working closely with Surrey County Council, the police and other stakeholders to ensure disruption is kept to a minimum during the work.
There will be fully signed diversions in place; however as delays are expected drivers are advised to consider alternative routes if possible.
Four clearly signed diversion routes will be in use:
Drivers travelling northbound on the M3 heading to the anti-clockwise M25 (for Gatwick, Dartford and Dover) will be diverted from the M3 junction 4 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 be diverted from the M25 junction 10 via the A3, A31 and A331 to the M3 junction 4.
Drivers travelling northbound on the M3 heading for the clockwise M25 (for 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 to then use either the A329M & A33 or A34.
The original Woodlands Lane Bridge was constructed in the early 1970s and its condition had deteriorated in recent years, requiring a weight and width restriction over the bridge. The bridge closed to traffic on 28 October 2016 with traffic diverted via nearby Highams Road. It was carefully demolished over a weekend in mid-November 2016.