Press release

Last superspan gantry to go up on smart motorway project

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The last of 9 superspan gantries required to help operate a smart motorway along sections of the M60 and M62 in Greater Manchester will be erected at the weekend.

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This weekend’s work will be taking place along the M60 near the junction 12 interchange with the M62 and M602 at Eccles. The work will be done overnight from 10pm tomorrow (Saturday 6 August) night and 6am on Sunday morning (7 August) when both the anti-clockwise and clockwise carriageways of the motorway will be closed between junction 12 at Eccles interchange and junction 13 at Worsley. Clearly signed diversions will be in place.

Each of the 9 gantries is designed to span both carriageways of the motorway. They are each up to 59 metres wide, weigh up to 78 tonnes and some have required a special 500 tonne crane to help install them as well as full overnight motorway closures in both directions. A 200 tonne crane is being deployed this weekend.

The smart motorway scheme, between junction 8 of the M60 near Sale and junction 20 of the M62, will see the latest technology being used to monitor traffic levels and keep vehicles moving by using variable speed limits.

Highways England project manager Stef Wilson said:

These are huge structures so they require full closures of the motorway while we erect them.

We are doing everything we can to keep disruption to a minimum, but we ask drivers to be patient and plan their journeys while this intensive phase of work is underway.

When the smart motorway scheme is completed, around 200 new electronic message signs on overhead gantries will warn drivers of changes in the mandatory speed limit, lane closures and incidents ahead.

In addition to the overnight closures for the gantries, there is a programme of night closures for maintenance work, and for the installation of supporting pillars for roadside electronic signs.

Drivers can find details of the closures, and stay up to date with the latest developments, by visiting the scheme page.

The closure could be postponed if strong winds are forecast.

General enquiries

Members of the public should contact the Highways England customer contact centre on 0300 123 5000.

Media enquiries

Journalists should contact the Highways England press office on 0844 693 1448 and use the menu to speak to the most appropriate press officer.

Published 5 August 2016