A KEY motorway interchange will be closed from tomorrow for eight weeks to allow £3.6m of essential maintenance work to the roundabout's four bridges.

Lofthouse Interchange, where the M62 junction 29 meets the M1 at junction 42, opened in 1970 and now carries 45,000 vehicles a day.

The work will replace the interchange's 20 bridge joints and has been brought forward to take place over the summer months and when Covid-19 restrictions are in place so traffic volumes are lower.

Closing the roundabout for the duration of the scheme will mean the work can be completed in the shortest time possible, minimising disruption to road users.

The junction’s link roads, which don’t require drivers to use the roundabout, will remain open and clearly signed diversion routes will be in place for all affected traffic.

Highways England project manager Russel McLean said: “We understand completely that this work is going to have a large impact on drivers."

"The best option we have is to close the roundabout for eight weeks. The alternative would be to carry out the work in separate sections but this would cause more disruption and require three, six-week closures."

The work will help the bridge move in a controlled way when traffic passes over it and during severe weather. The bridges will also be re-waterproofed which will protect the structure and the roundabout will be resurfaced.

The closure will mean that anyone wishing to travel in the following directions will need to follow a signposted diversion route: M1 northbound to M62 eastbound, M62 eastbound to M1 southbound, and M62 westbound to M1 northbound.

Diversions will take road users to the next junction on either the M1 or M62 and back to the Lofthouse Interchange where drivers can use the free-flowing link roads which remain open.