Published: 14:43, 06 September 2019
| Updated: 09:31, 07 September 2019
A closure of the M20 is still going ahead this weekend - despite a water leak nearby causing traffic chaos.
Drivers in Ashford have faced lengthy delays since 11am yesterday following the water mains burst on the A2070 Bad Munstereifel Road.
Repairs to the dual carriageway are expected to continue until 7am tomorrow, but Highways England says the M20 closure between Junctions 9 and 11 is still on.
The motorway will be closed between Junctions 9 for Ashford and 11 for Stanford coastbound and junctions 11 and 10 for Willesborough London-bound from 10pm tonight.
Contractors will be removing Highfield Lane bridge as part of Junction 10a project, which is expected to open to traffic this autumn.
Highways England hopes to have completely removed the soon-to-be-obsolete bridge on the outskirts of Ashford by the time the M20 reopens at 6am on Monday.
Drivers will be diverted towards the M2 and A2 to avoid the closed sections.
Highfield Lane bridge will be replaced by the new Kingsford Street bridge, the installation of which saw a similar motorway closure in November.
Contractors have already fixed the water leak, but repairs to the damaged A2070 are still needed.
The road is currently closed in the eastbound direction between the A2042 Romney Marsh Road roundabout for Ellingham and McDonald's Orbital Park junction.
It is open in the opposite direction, but motorists have been caught up in long delays across the town.
Jenny Rhodes, regional network manager at South East Water, apologised to motorists.
She said: “I’m very sorry that the A2070 Bad Munstereifel Road remains closed eastbound between the Hamstreet junction and Orbital Park, following repairs to a burst water main.
“Our expert technicians worked through the night to repair the broken pipe in what was a very difficult and complex job.
“The pipe was repaired shortly before 6am this morning and the team on site are now filling in our excavation and returning the road to its original state.
“We know that this road is extremely busy but we cannot re-open the road until it is safe to do so.
“Currently, we are hoping to reopen one lane by 7pm tonight (September 6), with the road fully open by 5am tomorrow (7 September).
“A signed diversion route is in place while the road is shut.
“Customers’ water supplies have not been affected by this incident and updates will be available on our interactive map inyourarea.digdat.co.uk/southeastwater as soon as they become available.”