This is why M55 junction 3 was closed this morning and will it happen again?

The M55 failed to open at junction 3 (Kirkham) until 9.34am this morning (October 2) after scheduled roadworks overran by more than 3 hours
The M55 failed to open at junction 3 (Kirkham) until 9.34am this morning (October 2) after scheduled roadworks overran by more than 3 hours
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Delays to roadworks at M55 junction 3 led to commuter chaos this morning, and now Highways has revealed what the problem was.

Junction 3 at Kirkham failed to open as scheduled at 6am after overnight roadworks overran by more than 3 and a half hours.

M55 junction 3 remained closed during rush hour, causing commuter chaos as people were diverted back to Blackpool to join the M55

M55 junction 3 remained closed during rush hour, causing commuter chaos as people were diverted back to Blackpool to join the M55

The lack of warning and planned diversions left motorists trapped in long queues of traffic, with people having to turn around and head back to Blackpool to join the M55.

At 9.34am, Highways reported that the M55 was back open and has since apologised for the inconvenience.

READ MORE: M55 slip roads at junction 3 still closed during rush hour as roadworks overrun at Kirkham Roundabout
But what caused the roadworks to overrun? And will it happen again?

Here is Highway England's explanation for this morning's commuter chaos.

A spokesman said: "As part of the work we’re resurfacing the roundabout over the motorway and we were working on a bridge joint last night.

"The asphalt we used didn’t set as quickly as we’d hoped and was still cooling down at 6am.

"So we couldn’t fully re-open the junction on time (i.e. 6am) for safety reasons.

"Once we realised this, staff worked quickly to get the information out to drivers with messaging on social media, electronic signs on the M6 and regular information to the travel media, providing information to local radio stations.

"We managed to open sections as and when we could and it was all open by 9.30am.

"It is not likely to happen again as we have finished this kind of work. Although much of the work we do is weather dependent, we’re not anticipating any further issues with this project.

READ MORE: M55 commuters diverted back to Blackpool after roadworks overrun at junction 3
When will the roadworks be completed?

"It’s worth noting that the work is a few days over schedule due to the poor weather we have had lately", added the spokesman.

"We'll be finished by the middle of next week, Wednesday morning (October 9).

"Until then, we have nightly - 8pm to 6am - closures of the junction continuing until Sunday morning, but lane-only closures after that.

“We would like to thank drivers for their patience this morning as we worked to re-open the junction following overnight resurfacing at the junction roundabout.

"This work is part of our important £750,000 improvement to reduce congestion at the junction and on the M55 itself and will provide safer and smoother journeys for drivers."