Work to upgrade Junction 17 at Sandbach by improving motorway joining and leaving arrangements began in November and is on course to be completed by March.
Most of the work so far has involved daily overnight closures of the slip roads and the A534 between Sandbach and Congleton which runs over the motorway at junction 17. The same closures will be needed for a whole weekend later this month – starting from 8pm on Friday 23 January and lasting until 6am on Monday 26 January.
While the main carriageway of the motorway will be unaffected by this particular work, bridge repairs elsewhere along the motorway the same weekend will mean alternate overnight closures of the main carriageway between junction 18 at Holmes Chapel and junction 16 for Barthomley. Drivers normally using junction 17 will in any case have to use either junction 18 or junction 16 to join or leave the motorway during the weekend junction closure.
The one-off weekend closure is needed as part of the project to provide a new roundabout and traffic lights at the motorway slip roads. No further weekend closures are anticipated.
Highways Agency project manager Jakub Malaj said:
We would like to thank drivers and other local people for their patience so far as work progresses. This weekend closure was anticipated in planning the programme of work and we will be doing all we can to complete as much as we can during the full closure to minimise any future inconvenience to drivers.
Clearly-signed diversions will be in place for anyone normally joining or leaving the motorway at junction 17 or travelling between Sandbach and Congleton and drivers should leave a little bit of extra time to complete journeys.
Councillor David Topping, Cheshire East Council Cabinet member in charge of environment, said:
This is important work that requires a temporary disruption during daylight hours. We will be working with the Highways Agency’s service providers Balfour Beatty Mott Macdonald to ensure any disruption is kept to a bare minimum – and we thank road users in advance for their patience and understanding at this time.
Drivers can get more information about the junction 17 project and sign up for email alerts and updates on the project pages.
The junction improvement project is part of the Government’s £317 million ‘pinch point’ initiative – a two year programme of targeted works being delivered alongside larger schemes and routine maintenance and improvements along the strategic road network.
The pinch point programme, devised with the input of councils and local enterprise partnerships, is designed to help stimulate new development and local economic growth by improving road safety and tackling congestion bottle necks. In all, 28 projects, worth £66 million, are being delivered across the North West.
The improvements at junction 17 include:
- constructing a new roundabout at the top of the northbound off slip road.
- providing a free flow link from the A534 to the M6 northbound.
- installing new traffic signals on the southbound off slip road.
- providing a designated left turn on to the M6 southbound slip road.
- installing new lighting, and improving drainage, surfacing, road markings and signing.
Members of the public should contact the Highways Agency Information Line on 0300 123 5000.
Journalists should contact the Highways Agency press office on 0844 693 1448 and use the menu to speak to the most appropriate press officer.