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  • Writer's pictureSafer Highways

Massive T -Pylon project to close M5 as drivers told to expect disruption

Motorists planning long overnight journeys along the M5 in the South West have been warned about a series of closures in April and June.

The two affected sections are in Somerset and the closures are linked to the Hinkley Connection Project which is installing a new power line from Bridgwater to Avonmouth.

Work on the 57 kilometre high-voltage electricity line,which will connect six million homes and business began in July 2022 with the construction of new T-pylons between Sandford and Portbury. Work is now taking place to hang the wires between these T-pylons, SomersetLive reports.

National Grid is removing 67 kilometres of existing pylons across Somerset to make room for and reduce the visual impact of the new connection. Where wires are removed or installed over roads, scaffolding is erected and controlled lifting and lowering systems are used.

The M5 will be closed between junctions 19 and 21 in both directions overnight for three nights on April 25, 26 and 27 and two nights in June, so that scaffolding needed for the works can be erected and then removed when the work is completed.

A National Grid spokesman said: "To manage traffic and keep everyone safe during this work we will need to close certain sections of the M5 overnight. We recognise our work will cause disruption to journeys and we’re sorry for the inconvenience."

The closures have been planned for midweek and overnight when there is least traffic. Northbound, there will be a full diversion route in place from J21 for all vehicles along the A370 and the A4 to re-join the motorway at J18.

There is an additional diversion route for light vehicles only from Clevedon along the B3130 and B3128 to the A370. Southbound, there will be a full diversion route in place from J18 for all vehicles along the A4 and A370 to re-join the motorway at J21.

This is to enable lowering and recovery of ropes used during the dismantling and removal of the existing 132kV wires in the area, between Portishead substation and Avonmouth substation. Bristol City Council has confirmed its Clean Air Zone charge will be lifted on the diversion routes while this work to help connect low carbon energy to homes and businesses takes place.

The closures on the M5 on April 25, 26 and 27 from junction 19 to 21 in both directions will be in operation from 10pm to 5am. The closure on May 12 from M5 junction 18a slip road in both directions will be in force between 10pm and 2am. The closure of the M5 in both directions between junctions 19 to 21 in both directions on June 5 and 6 will be in force from 10pm to 5am.

The work will also see closures on some local roads. Caswell Hill in Clapton-in-Gordano will be closed from April 11 - June 18 for the work while Sheepway Road will also close from April 12 until May 7.

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