Motorists are being warned of traffic chaos with the M4 Motorway to be closed at The Northern Road over the long weekend as critical upgrade work continues.
The M4 will shut down at 9pm on Friday, June 7 and re-open on Tuesday, June 11 at 4am so crews can safely remove an existing 40-year-old bridge that does not have the capacity to meet future traffic needs.
During the closure, the M4 Motorway will be closed to general traffic in either direction at The Northern Road and motorists will be diverted up and over The Northern Road interchange ramps with an alternative detour option via the Great Western Highway.
Transport for NSW Coordinator General, Marg Prendergast, said traffic in the area is expected to be heavy and motorists should allow extra travel time and avoid the area if possible.
“The busiest traffic times are expected to be between 10am and 3pm on Saturday, June 8 and between 10am and 2pm on Sunday, June 9,” Ms Prendergast said.
“We’ve scheduled the work to start from 9pm on Friday, June 7, which is after most holidaymakers are off the road and traffic volumes are lower so anyone planning to head to the Blue Mountains or further west on Friday, June 7 should leave early to avoid the extra travel time.”
NRL fans are also being warned to allow plenty of extra travel time with a blockbuster Sunday afternoon clash between Penrith and the Roosters scheduled for a 4.05pm kick-off at Panthers Stadium.
Ms Prendergast said the June long weekend traditionally had lower traffic volumes than normal, opening up the perfect time to close the motorway.
“Carrying out the work in three days, rather than the alternative of up to 20 weeks of night closures, will minimise disruption to both motorists and residents and improve safety for workers,” Ms Prendergast said.
“We’ll be monitoring the network around-the-clock, there will be traffic controllers on site as well as network operations managing signals and electronic message signs displaying real-time traffic information to keep traffic flowing and to respond to conditions as required.”
The demolition of the existing bridge will involve the use of heavy machinery including cranes, excavators and a large number of trucks, which is why a section of the M4 will be temporarily closed.
Troy Dodds is the Weekender’s Managing Editor and Senior Writer. He has more than 15 years experience as a journalist, working with some of Australia’s leading media organisations.