Southbound Lanes of British M1 Motorway to Stay Closed

The Highways Agency had hoped to reopen one southbound lane overnight and a second later, but they remain closed today between junctions 1 and 4 ''until further notice''. The seven mile long section was damaged after a fire broke out on Friday at a scrapyard underneath an elevated section of the motorway in the Mill Hill area of north London.

Two lanes on the northbound carriageway were reopened Sunday, but motorists were urged to avoid the route as congestion was expected.

"'Engineers worked through the night to try to reopen southbound lanes. We are working in very difficult conditions in a confined space and have encountered unexpected difficulties in manoeuvring some of the large and heavy equipment required to reinforce the bridge deck," the Highways Agency said today.

Roads Minister Mike Penning told Sky News the full width of the motorway would not open until ''the middle to the end of next week.”

"We are working as quickly as possible to reopen lanes on the M1. However safety has to be paramount. As a former firefighter I know first-hand the intensity of fires of this kind. I've seen the damage to the bridge and it should not be underestimated how significant it is,''
he added.

Until then, motorists are being advised to use alternative routes on the M40, A41 and A1.

"We will do everything we can to get the southbound stretch open today, but sadly the inside lane on the hard shoulder was so badly damaged it is beyond repair and we'll have to do remedial work on that later on. We're looking to open two lanes south today and operate a contraflow using the hard shoulder on the northbound carriageway to have three lanes north and three lanes south. I was a fireman for many years and I have never seen reinforced concrete damaged like this. There will be a review into whether combustibles should be allowed to be under motorways," Mr. Penning also stated.
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About the author: Mihnea Radu
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Mihnea's favorite cars have already been built, the so-called modern classics from the '80s and '90s. He also loves local car culture from all over the world, so don't be surprised to see him getting excited about weird Japanese imports, low-rider VWs out of Germany, replicas from Russia or LS swaps down in Florida.
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