MOTORISTS are being warned to avoid the M62 at night over the next three months as giant signs are put up.

On nearly 30 evenings until December the busy motorway will be closed as huge electronic gantries are fitted.

The work will take place between junction 18, near Simister, and junction 22 at Saddleworth.

The eastbound carriageway will be closed from 10pm to 5.30am, at junction 19. Clearly signed diversions will direct motorists on to local roads.

The inside lane of the westbound carriageway will be open for most of the night, although police will stop the traffic for 20 minutes while the signs are put in place.

As the work continues drivers should be given a week's advance warning of each closure via notices on the motorway.

Highways Agency project manager Arun Sahni said the electronic signs, costing £11 million, were being fitted at night to minimise disruption to traffic on the M62 and local roads.

He added: "However, drivers should allow extra time for their journeys or if possible avoid this section of the M62 altogether."

The carriageways have to be closed so a crane can be used to install the 120-tonne concrete gantries, each 38 metres long and spanning the entire width of the M62.

They will be carried on legs that have already been installed alongside the motorway.

The gantries will carry one of the most advanced electronic sign schemes in the country, giving motorists early warnings of problems on the motorway ahead and helping them to avoid trouble spots.

The hi-tech signs will detect queues forming on the carriageways through a series of sensors and will automatically notify approaching traffic.