The Highways Agency is advising drivers that parts of the M61 near Bolton will close overnight this weekend for resurfacing after utility work.
Water supplier United Utilities has installed a new water main in the area under the motorway and is resurfacing a short section of the southbound carriageway near to the interchange with the M60 and A580.
The work will require the closure of the main carriageway and link roads between Junctions 3 and Junction 1. The southbound Kearsley Spur onto the motorway will also be closed.
The work is due to take place between 10pm on Saturday (April 16) and 7am on Sunday (April 17), but may require a second overnight closure from 10pm on the Sunday until 5am on the Monday (April 18).
The overnight closures will affect the southbound carriageway only. Drivers wishing to join the M60 or A580 should follow clearly-signed diversions from Junction 3 using the northbound Kearsley Spur and south east-bound A666.
Highways Agency officials have told United Utilities that the carriageway closures must be lifted by 7am on the Sunday morning to help Bolton Wanderers fans on their journey to Wembley for the FA Cup Semi-Final with Stoke.
Rugby union fans travelling back from the match between Sale Sharks and London Irish at The Reebok Stadium on Saturday evening are also being advised of the road closures and diversions.
Drivers travelling south on the M61 to the M60 should leave the M61 at Junction 3, travel north up the Kearsley Spur to the roundabout with the A666 and use the A666 Bolton/Manchester Road to get onto the M60 at Junction 16 – travelling clockwise up to Junction 17 at Whitefield and using the roundabout there to join the anti-clockwise carriageway if they are heading back to Manchester and Cheshire.
Drivers wishing to access the A580 should continue southbound along the A666 until the roundabout with the A580, where they will be able to access the eastbound and westbound carriageways.