Work to start on M6 smart motorway next month

Work is to start on the upgrade of a ten mile stretch of the M6 motorway.

Contractor Costain will start work next month for the £150 million project which was originally due to be completed next month but delayed because the impact of potential in the area.

A two-year programme of works will take place along a 10-mile stretch from Warrington’s Junction 21A Croft Interchange to the Orrell Interchange at Junction 26 near Wigan.

The Highways England project aims to increase capacity by a third between junction 21a for the M62 at Croft and junction 26 for the M58 at Orrell.

More than 120,000 vehicles travelled along the route every day before lockdown restrictions were introduced.

The transformation, which will also see the installation of new technology to relieve congestion will include new radar detectors positioned along the motorway will monitor the flow of traffic and automatically detect any stationary vehicles, while the hard shoulder will be permanently converted to an extra lane to provide four traffic lanes in each direction.

A total of 92 electronic signs will be used to set variable speed limits to prevent stop-start conditions and close lanes by displaying red Xs during incidents.

The scheme will see the replacement of the metal barrier in the central reservation with a new concrete barrier to help increase safety and reduce maintenance, as well as the resurfacing of lanes one and four on both carriageways.

Drivers will be able to use one of 10 new emergency areas as a safer place to stop if they experience a breakdown, with roadside telephones providing a direct link to the regional operations centre.

Agnes Usciak, Highways England’s project manager, said: “The improvements we are planning for the M6 between Warrington and Wigan will provide quicker, safer and more reliable journeys for the tens of thousands of drivers who travel along the route every day.

“We are encouraging as many people as possible to join our online events later in February to find out more about the scheme and put their questions to the project team.”


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