Catthorpe Interchange to close for 36 hours

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MOTORISTS are being reminded that a 36-hour closure of the M1 and M6 at the Catthorpe Interchange near Rugby will be in place from midnight on Friday to allow for the old Catthorpe Viaduct to be demolished.

The closure is scheduled to last until midday on Sunday and will see the following sections of carriageway closed for the duration of the works:

M1 northbound between junctions 19 and 20 (including the northbound entry slip road at junction 19);

M1 southbound between junctions 19 and 18; and

M6 southbound to M1 southbound (junction 19).

Access to the A14 will remain unaffected throughout, and clearly signed diversion routes will be in place for traffic affected by the closure.

With the old viaduct reaching the end of its working life, the scheme to replace it started in July 2010. A replacement viaduct has now been constructed, and in early December southbound traffic was moved onto the new bridge, which carries M6 traffic over the M1.

Ivan Marriott, project manager for the Highways Agency said: “The demolition of the viaduct presents a very particular engineering challenge. The 85-metre long, three and a half thousand-tonne bridge will be taken down piece by piece using 10 large excavators with hydraulic breakers. This method has been chosen due to the close proximity of the new bridge to the south of the original, and also to ensure that we don’t damage the M1 carriageway which runs directly below the viaduct.

“The closure will unavoidably cause some disruption for road users, but to keep it to a minimum we have timed the works for a 36-hour period at the weekend when traffic flow is at its lowest. We do advise that people plan their journeys in advance, avoiding the area if they can.”

There will be clearly signed diversion routes in place during the closure:

M1 Northbound

M1 northbound traffic will be diverted off the M1 at junction 19 onto the M6 to junction 2 and then north on the M69 to rejoin the M1 at junction 21.

M1 Southbound

M1 southbound traffic will be signposted off the M1 at junction 21 onto the M69, A46, A45 and M45 to rejoin the M1 at Junction 17. The M1 southbound will remain open all the way down to junction 19 for A14 eastbound, M6 westbound and local traffic.

M6 Southbound

M6 traffic destined for the M1 southbound will be diverted off at junction 2 onto the A46, A45 and M45 towards M1 junction 17. The M6 will remain open to M1 junction 19 for A14 eastbound and local traffic.

A14 Westbound to M1 Northbound

A14 traffic heading for the M1 northbound will be signposted onto the M6 westbound until junction 2, from where it will join the M69 north, before returning to the M1 at junction 21.

The Highways Agency will continue to keep public informed as the date of the closure approaches. Road users can keep up to date and register for updates on the scheme website at http://www.highways.gov.uk/roads/projects/28223.aspx. Up to date travel information is also available by calling the Highways Agency Information Line on 0300 123 5000, or by following @HAtraffic_emids on Twitter.

In the event of adverse weather conditions affecting these planned works, reserve days are in place for the weekends of 13 to 15, 20 to 22 and 27 to 29 January.