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Major milestone reached for Manchester’s Smart Motorway

News   •   Jan 31, 2017 14:09 GMT

Smart Motorway works underway on M60 and M62 near Manchester, to tackle congestion and improve journey times.

Works are underway on the latest phase of a major Smart Motorways project to tackle congestion and improve journey times on the M60 and M62 near Manchester.

A five mile stretch of the M62 near Rochdale has been converted from a hard shoulder to a standard motorway lane, with works started now on the central reservation.

A new safety barrier in the central reservation will be created, to reduce the risk of vehicles crossing onto opposite carriageways in collisions, as well as needing less repairs, cutting the need for lane closures. More than 7,000 tonnes of concrete will be needed.

The works will increase capacity on this section of the motorway by a third, making journeys quicker and more reliable.

Stephen Hill, Senior Project Manager at Highways England, said: This scheme will ultimately improve journeys for the tens of thousands of drivers who use it every day, and the completion of the hard shoulder work is a major milestone for the project.

“We can now start installing the new concrete safety barrier in the central reservation and work towards lifting the roadworks between junctions 18 and 20 on the M62 by the end of September.”

Work is also continuing throughout the 17 mile scheme, which runs from junction 8 of the M60 at Sale to junction 20 of the M62 at Rochdale, to upgrade 56 overhead gantries so that they can be fitted with new electronic signs.

Overnight closures between several junctions are being used so that contractors can carry out major overhead gantry work on longer stretches of the route. A maximum of six miles of the motorway will be closed each night, between 10pm and 6am, and clearly signed diversions will be in place.

From September, the Manchester Smart Motorway is due to go live in sections, with all of the roadworks planned to be lifted by the end of the year.

New overhead electronic signs will have variable speed limits introduced to keep traffic moving, and alerts for drivers of any lane closures or incidents ahead. CCTV cameras covering the entire route will allow Highways England’s traffic officers and the emergency services to respond quickly to incidents.

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