Eight ‘superspan’ gantries crossing the M1 near Sheffield will be installed overnight as part of a major smart motorway project to tackle congestion and improve journey times.
Contractors for Highways England will be installing the gantries, which will carry message and variable speed limit signs, between junction 32 (M18) and junction 34 (Meadowhall) overnight, between 9pm and 6am, starting on Monday 15 August.
The gantries – which will span both the northbound and southbound carriageways – are approximately 45 metres wide, weigh up to 30 tonnes. A special 200 tonne crane is required to install them.
The first 2 gantries will be installed overnight on Monday 15 and Tuesday 16 August between junction 33 (Doncaster) and junction 34.
To carry out the work lanes 2 and 3 on the northbound carriageway and all 3 lanes on the southbound carriageway will be closed, with traffic travelling on the hard shoulder. Traffic will be temporarily stopped while the lift is undertaken.
A further 6 gantries between junctions 32 and 33 will be installed over four nights starting on Monday 22 August. The southbound carriageway will be fully closed along with lanes 2 and 3 on the northbound carriageway.
The smart motorway scheme, between junction 32 of the M1 at Rotherham and junction 35a at Stocksbridge, 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.
Highways England project manager Arun Sahni said:
The erection of a ‘superspan’ is a big job that calls for overnight closures, 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.
While we have the closures in place for the 6 nights we will also be carrying out other works in the area which included resurfacing of the entry slip road at junction 33.
Cleary signed diversions will be place when the southbound carriageway is closed via the A630, the A631 and M18. Heavy goods vehicles can use either the M62 and the A1 or the M62 and M18.
Drivers can find details of the closures, and stay up to date with the latest developments, by visiting the M1 smart motorway project page.
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.