Closure of two-mile stretch of motorway could cause disruption

A gantry being removed.A gantry being removed.
A gantry being removed.
Motorists travelling on the M62 at the weekend could face disruption while a stretch of the motorway is closed overnight.

Engineers are carrying out work for Highways England to remove a 40-metre-wide overhead gantry on part of the motorway on Saturday, December 12.

A two-mile stretch of the motorway will be closed, from 9pm on Saturday and 10am on Sunday, in both directions between junction 19 at Heywood and junction 20 at Oldham.

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Highways England project manager Paul Hampson said: “These are massive structures and we will need to close the M62 to remove them safely by lifting the beams onto the carriageway, where they’ll be broken up and transported away, and then by removing the gantry legs using a smaller crane.

“We’re advising people to allow extra time for their journeys if they’re planning to travel when the closures are taking place, although we’ve deliberately timed the demolition work to be carried out when traffic levels are at their lowest.”

It is being organised as part of the smart motorway upgrade to reduce congestion.

The eastbound diversion route for the closures from junction 19 will operate north of the motorway – from junction 19 using the northbound A6046, eastbound A458 and southbound A627(M) down to junction 20.

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Motorists using the westbound stretch will be diverted south of the motorway – with drivers sent onto the southbound A627(M) from junction 20, westbound A664 and northbound A6046 up to junction 19.

Two similar gantries were removed last month but two overnight closures planned for last Saturday and one in November had to be postponed due to high winds.

Another overnight closure is also being planned for early next year to remove the supporting columns.