M4 Elevated Section "Will Reopen on Thursday"
Minister promises work to repair motorway will end this week
A Government Minister has said that the M4 will reopen on Thursday according to the BBC.
Transport Minister Mike Penning has visited the site and is quoted as saying, "Since the road closure, the new crack that was found in the early hours of Friday morning hasn't grown.
"It was growing while the road was open. The technical experts have shown the plating that can be done to fix it.
"It's really difficult because it's a box section this time, not a straight back weld.
"I'm hoping they will start work on that this afternoon (10th July), plating it together, and as predicted right at the start we hope to have it open on Thursday morning."
The Highways Agency partially reopened the M4 on Sunday evening with junctions 1-2 (Chiswick Roundabout to Brentford now accepting traffic. When the original closure was announced it was stated that it could last for up to five days.
The motorway remains closed between junctions 2 and 3 and heavy traffic on local roads has resulted.
The Highways Agency say that a serious crack has been found in a 'sensitive area' of the road structure. This is believed to be the Boston Manor Viaduct where heavy vehicles were already subject to restrictions. Vehicles over 7.5 tonnes had already been stopped from using this stretch of the motorway after cracks had been found in supporting steel beams.
Diversions have been put in place along the A312 and the A4.
July 11, 2012