A section of the M5 will be fully closed near Bristol tomorrow night to enable the removal of the superspan gantry damaged in yesterday’s lorry collision.

To remove the span across the southbound and northbound carriageways, the M5 will be closed between junction 17 and junction 18 from 8pm on Saturday night to 8am on Sunday morning.

The junction 17 southbound entry slip road will also be closed for a short time tonight to enable work to isolate electrics and remove cabling from the structure.

Clearly signed diversions will be in place, and for the Saturday to Sunday overnight closure, southbound traffic will be diverted from the J15 interchange to M4 junction 22 and the M49 to rejoin the M5 at junction 18. The northbound diversion will be in reverse.

In the meantime, National Highways is advising drivers travelling on the M5 tomorrow evening to plan ahead and allow extra time for their journeys.

Terry Robinson, South West Engineering Manager for National Highways, said: “Although the gantry is structurally safe, it has suffered damage which can’t be repaired with the gantry in place. The gantry will be removed, repaired and reinstalled to ensure we can reinstate technology and signage as quickly as possible.

“We appreciate road closures can be frustrating, and we thank people in advance for their patience and co-operation while we carry out the removal work.”

Up-to-date travel information is available from National Highways by visiting www.trafficengland.com and Twitter updates are also available at @HighwaysSWEST. For urgent real-time assistance, our 24/7 contact centre team is able to provide up-to-the minute information on 0300 123 5000.