The Highways Agency closed the motorway last Friday because in entering the final stages of the repair work, a new crack was found in a highly stressed part of the bridge supports. This required a unique repair solution involving the manufacturing of bespoke specialist steel plates and their installation over the crack.
The crack then had to be removed to prevent further damage to the structure. This intricate part of the operation took several hours – even though the crack was a hairline one.
The crack was discovered during an ongoing repair programme. Work on that continues and for this reason vehicles weighing 7.5 tonnes or more will still be restricted from using the motorway between the junctions. A diversion route remains in place via the A4 and A312 dual carriageways.