COMMUTERS have faced travel chaos on the M65 today after a fault in a bridge resurfaced. 

Drivers are enduring long delays as a lane is currently closed on the westbound carriageway while engineers carry out emergency bridge repairs. 

The lane, between junction five at Guide and junction four at Darwen, was closed at 4pm on Monday and is due to remain shut until at least 5am on Wednesday. 

Meanwhile, a full closure of the westbound carriageway between these junctions is expected to be in place between 8pm tonight and 5am on Wednesday to allow engineers to carry out permanent bridge repairs. 

Diversion routes are also due to be in place, although Highways England could not say where. 

The bridge, which carries the motorway over Lower Eccles Hill Road, was attended to by engineers after it was discovered that part of the bridge joint was exposed.

Highways England confirmed it is the same fault that closed the M65 overnight back in May.

It led to traffic being at a complete standstill from Blackburn towards Preston.

Highways England said they are investigating why the issue has resurfaced.  

A Highways England spokesman said: “At 4pm last night (Monday) between junction five and four westbound in a two lane section we had a bridge joint issue in lane one of the carriageway. 

“For safety reasons the lane has had to remain shut while we await a permanent repair. 

“This will be done tonight under a full closure of the westbound carriageway  - probably between 8pm and 5am.  

“At present drivers are experiencing a 10 minute delay. 

“More severe delays are likely during rush hour and we’d advise drivers to avoid the area if possible or delay or bring forward their journeys.”

The lane closure has caused heavy traffic for motorists and tailbacks to junction six of the M65. 

Motorists have been warned to expect delays on local roads as traffic starts using them to avoid the motorway. 

Blackburn with Darwen Roads said on Facebook: “There is still a lane closure on the M65 westbound between J5 (Guide) and J4 (Darwen)

“This is causing tailbacks to J6 and beyond.

Traffic will start using local roads to avoid the motorway so expect some travel delays this morning into and around Blackburn/Darwen.

“We’ll be liaising with Highways England to get an update on the emergency repairs.”

North West Motorway Police said the closure iss causing congestion in the area and urged motorists to allow extra time for their journey. 

Motorists have taken to Facebook to voice their frustration at the delays and question the need for there to be a lane closure.

Scott McDermott said: “Went past at about 7.10 pm and not a work man in site.
“Can’t be that much of and emergency, didn’t look like there was any need for lane one to be closed.”