M56 smart motorway opening delayed for SVD

National Highways says there’ll be a delay in opening the £85 million upgrade of the M56 between junction 6 for Hale and 8 for Bowden because of the need to introduce Stopped Vehicle Detection technology.

The four-mile section is one of the busiest in the North West, carrying 100,000 vehicles a day and is having the hard shoulder turned into a running lane.

The scheme was due to be completed in the spring, but National Highways says it’ll now not open before Stopped Vehicle Detection technology is implemented by the autumn. This is in line with a promise given to the Government and Transport Select Committee.

“Good progress is being made on this upgrade and we are committed to implementing the recommendations of the Government stocktake before the scheme opens fully. This means it will include stopped vehicle detection technology,” said National Highways M56 motorway upgrade project manager Clare Bond. “We’re grateful for everyone’s patience while we complete this work, and we expect the upgrade to be fully open next autumn.”

Work will take place next month to install traffic management to allow the conversion of the westbound hard shoulder to start. A contraflow arrangement used during phase one will be switched – carrying one lane of westbound traffic along one of the eastbound lanes of the motorway. The hard shoulder along the eastbound carriageway will be in use as the eastbound lane one complete with new, lower noise surfacing.

Once the westbound hard shoulder has been converted into a running lane a third project phase will see construction of a concrete central reservation barrier.

To start the second phase of the project there’ll be three successive overnight closures of the eastbound carriageway between junction 7 and junction 5 from Monday 4 October.

(Picture – National Highways/Google Streetview)


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