HIGHWAYS bosses thanked motorists for their patience after the completion of bridge repairs on the M65.

Engineers carried out the emergency repairs on the westbound carriageway between junction five at Guide and junction four at Darwen.

The work led to a lane closure between the junctions and left commuters enduring long delays.

Motorists faced heavy traffic and tailbacks to junction six of the M65 and on nearby local roads.

Disruption started at 4pm on Monday when the lane was closed and it did not re-open for a further 36 hours until 4am today.

Meanwhile, a full closure of the westbound carriageway between the junctions was in place between 11pm on Tuesday night and 4am today.

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.

A Highways England spokesman said: "The job has finished and the bridge has been repaired.

"We don't envisage any further disruption and will be speaking to our contractors to ensure this doesn't happen again.

"Safety was the priority here and the work had to be done.

"We'd like thank motorists for their patience."