More superspan gantries arrive on M62 for smart motorway project
More ‘superspan’ gantries crossing whole sections of the M60 and M62 Manchester smart motorway project will be installed from Thursday 2 June.
Contractors for Highways England are installing 3 giant overhead gantries during June, which will carry message and variable speed limit signs.
The next two superspan gantries will be erected across the M62, between junction 19 at Heywood and junction 20 at Rochdale, at night on Thursday 2 and Friday 3 June.
The gantries – which will span both the eastbound and westbound carriageways of the motorway – are up to 59 metres wide, weigh up to 78 tonnes and will require a special 500 tonne crane to help install them as well as full overnight motorway closures in both directions.
The overnight closures will take place along the M62 in both directions between junction 19 and junction 20 from 10pm until 6am on both nights. The closures could be postponed if strong winds are forecast.
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.
The hard shoulder will also be permanently converted into an extra lane to increase capacity between junctions 18 and 20 on the M62.
Highways England project manager Stef Wilson said:
We started work on installing the new gantries last month and it’s going smoothly. It’s a very big job that calls for night closures in both directions, but then they’re very big structures. You really get a sense of their size when they are on the ground waiting to go up.
We’re in quite an intensive phase of the project just now with a programme of overnight closures, so it’s important for people who use the motorway at night to plan their journeys.
When the smart motorway scheme is completed in autumn 2017, 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 website.
Members of the public should contact the Highways England customer contact centre on 0300 123 5000.
Journalists should contact the Highways England press office on 0844 693 1448 and use the menu to speak to the most appropriate press officer.