Work will take place over the weekend to remove a damaged footbridge from the major route, in a bid to ensure the long-term safety of motorists.
The carriageway heading towards the coast will be shut off between junctions one and four, with the London-bound carriageway set to be closed between junctions four and two.
The closures will be in effect from 8pm on Friday night (September 2) until 6am on Monday morning (September 5). Highways England (HE) will use the time to carry out the bridge removal work.
The decision to complete the work this weekend follows traffic chaos over the August bank holiday weekend. Last Saturday (August 27), a footbridge made contact with a digger being transported on the back of a lorry. The collision caused the bridge to collapse, leading to significant tailbacks.
Although the removal of the collapsed section of the bridge meant the motorway was able to reopen later in the weekend, the rest of the structure still needs to be taken away. Around 100 people are expected to take part in this work in the coming few days.
In order to help drivers navigate the road closures, HE said clearly-signed diversions will be set up.
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Commenting on the project, HE’s chief highway engineer, Catherine Brookes, said safety is the number one priority for her organisation.
She added: “We worked hard last weekend to reopen the M20 as soon as it was safe to do so and I would like to thank drivers for their patience while we did this. The remaining section of the bridge has been assessed and is safe for traffic to pass underneath with a temporary 50mph speed limit.
“We naturally need to remove it under safe, controlled conditions this weekend.”
Ms Brookes said that along with the bridge removal, other work taking place in the coming days will include barrier repairs, resurfacing and litter-picking.
In terms of replacing the collapsed bridge, she said work on this will start “in due course”.