Work to widen the M4 Junction 16 eastbound exit slip road has progressed well to date. However, yesterday (5 Jan) during excavation works associated with the widening, a gas pipe was unfortunately damaged.
As a precaution, immediate action was taken by the emergency services to close the junction and Wales and West Utilities engineers worked to complete the repair. The junction was re-opened to traffic by 8pm, although a lane restriction on the west side of the roundabout remained in place throughout the night and during the peak morning period today (6 Jan). This lane closure is in place for the safety of the travelling public and is expected to be removed by 3.30pm this afternoon.
Our contractor HOCHTIEF would like to apologise to everyone affected by yesterday’s junction closure and a full investigation into how the incident occurred is underway.
Work to widen the eastbound exit slip road of Junction 16 to create a four-lane approach will continue over the coming weeks. During this time the slip road will continue to be reduced to one lane during the off-peak period between approximately 9am and 4pm. This will be monitored and changes made if traffic volumes become too great.
Work is also set to continue this week in the vicinity of the M4 westbound off slip road; all lanes will remain open and traffic flow is not expected to be affected in this area. An overnight closure of the slip road is planned for the 6th February, following which there will be temporary use of the hard shoulder and lane closures.
Elsewhere, earthworks in the area south of the junction as well as utility trial hole and CCTV investigations will continue throughout the site during January. Commuters should be aware that traffic management will be in place to facilitate works on the northern section of the junction during this time. This will be in the form of a lane closure on the inner northern section of the roundabout and will be in place during off-peak times (9am – 4pm) throughout January.
Highways England are due to start work next week (09/01) on a separate scheme at nearby Blagrove Railway Bridge. This will involve hard shoulder closures and night-time lane closures on the eastbound M4, just to the east of the junction, for approximately 10 weeks.