THE huge delays caused by roadworks on the A3M have forced a change to the times work is carried out.
The Highways Agency has announced that the junction of the southbound motorway as it meets the M27 will not be closed all weekend from now on.
Last weekend’s closure was the first full weekend closure for contractors to replace an expansion joint on the Farlington viaduct.
Drivers were diverted to the westbound A27 via the Broadmarsh interchange at Bedhampton.
It resulted in a mammoth build-up of traffic with delays of around 40 minutes between junctions two and five.
There will no longer be any full weekend closures from 10pm on Friday until 6am on Monday. It will instead close from 8pm on Saturday night.
Jane Manning, a spokeswoman for the Highways Agency, said: ‘The closure times have been reviewed following the unexpectedly long delays that there were last weekend.
‘We always make the best estimate we can regarding the impact on traffic but we can never be absolutely certain until the closure is in place.
‘We have acted responsibly and in the best interests of road users and rescheduled the times of works. It should not affect the long-term plan.’
The work on the viaduct is expected to take 11 weeks. Workers are also replacing a safety barrier in the central reservation.
For the duration of the work the speed limit has been reduced to 40mph southbound and 50mph northbound.
Three sets of speed cameras – dubbed ‘yellow vultures’ – have been put up to cover both lanes of traffic.
There will be regular night-time closures every day from 10pm until 6am the following day.
The Highways Agency will announce in advance which weekends require the motorway to be closed.
For more information go to highways.gov.uk.