Saturday 3 December 2016

Busy motorway partially reopens after 'chaos' caused by footbridge collapse

Published 28/08/2016 | 17:33

Emergency services at the scene where a footbridge collapsed on the M20 on 27 August (Natasha Najm/EPA)
Emergency services at the scene where a footbridge collapsed on the M20 on 27 August (Natasha Najm/EPA)

A motorway has partially reopened more than 24 hours after a footbridge collapsed, sparking hours of traffic chaos on one of the busiest weekends of the year.

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Traffic can now use the eastbound carriageway of the M20 in Kent, Highways England said, after a stretch between junctions one and four was cleared following Saturday's accident, which saw the structure stuck by a digger being transported on the back of a lorry.

The reopening was several hours later than planned and Highways England said the westbound carriageway of the motorway, which links London with the Channel Tunnel and the Port of Dover, remained closed following the incident close to where it meets the M26.

Authorities had hoped to reopen the motorway around noon after work to repair the road surface and clear the wreckage of the bridge and vehicles struck by it.

But it was delayed to later on Sunday afternoon following extensive safety checks.

The bridge came down between junctions three and four shortly after noon on Saturday.

Screengrab taken with permission from the twitter account of @emmaraphaelx of the scene on the M20 motorway after a lorry hit a motorway bridge, causing it to collapse Credit: @emmaraphaelx/PA Wire
Screengrab taken with permission from the twitter account of @emmaraphaelx of the scene on the M20 motorway after a lorry hit a motorway bridge, causing it to collapse Credit: @emmaraphaelx/PA Wire
Screengrab taken with permission from the twitter account of @rocco__5885 of the scene on the M20 motorway after a lorry hit a motorway bridge, causing it to collapse. Credit: @rocco__5885/PA Wire
Screengrab taken with permission from the twitter account of @rocco__5885 of the scene on the M20 motorway after a lorry hit a motorway bridge, causing it to collapse. Credit: @rocco__5885/PA Wire
Screengrab taken with permission from the twitter account of @emmaraphaelx of the scene on the M20 motorway after a lorry hit a motorway bridge, causing it to collapse Credit: @emmaraphaelx/PA Wire

A motorcyclist in his 50s was taken to hospital in Tunbridge Wells with suspected broken ribs following the incident while the driver of the lorry was treated for shock at the scene.

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