Overnight closures keep smart motorway scheme on schedule
A series of overnight closures will be in place on sections of the M60 from Monday 12 January as part of a £208 million project to cut congestion and improve journey times.
The Highways Agency has pledged to keep all of the lanes on the motorway open during the daytime for the entire smart motorway project but it needs to introduce narrow lanes using night-time closures to make this happen.
Construction work on the scheme began in July last year, and contractors have already installed narrow lanes on the section of the route between junctions 18 and 20 of the M62.
They will now introduce narrow lanes and a steel safety barrier on the stretch between junction 15 at the interchange with the M61 for Bolton and junction 8 of the M60 near Sale, using a series of overnight closures over the next three weeks.
Stephen Greenhalgh, Project Manager at the Highways Agency, said:
We’re doing all we can to keep the impact of the smart motorway work to a minimum and we’ll be able to keep all of the lanes open by introducing narrow lanes from next week.
The closures will be taking place overnight when far fewer people will be using the motorway, so that drivers can continue to travel on the M60 as normal during the day.
We’re now six months into the smart motorway project and work on the scheme is progressing well. When the project is completed, we will be able to use the latest technology to tackle congestion and bring an end to the stop-start conditions many of us have experienced in the past.
A 50 mph speed limit is already in place on the 17 mile smart motorway route for the safety of workers and road users, adding less than six minutes to the average journey time.
Sections of the motorway will be closed between 10 pm and 5 am while the narrow lanes are installed, starting with the anticlockwise side of the M60 between junction 16 for Swinton and junction 14 for St Helens from 10 pm on Monday 12 January. Road users will be able to follow clearly signed diversions.
Preparation work, including site surveys and ground investigations, on the smart motorway project has now been completed and contractors have begun the main construction phase.
When the scheme is completed in autumn 2017, around 200 new electronic signs will warn drivers of changes in the mandatory speed limit, lane closures and incidents ahead. The hard shoulder will also be permanently converted to an extra lane between junctions 18 and 20 of the M62.
Almost 1,000 new lighting columns will be installed, nearly 90 overhead gantries will be refurbished or erected, and the entire smart motorway route will be resurfaced.
To stay up to date with the latest developments, visit www.highways.gov.uk/manchestersmartmotorways