Smart motorway widening will continue around the M60

Motorway widening work reaches next stage

The latest phase of work on a £208m project to cut congestion and improve journey times on parts of the M60 and M62 in Greater Manchester will begin on Monday 17 November.

The Highways Agency's smart motorway scheme affects a 17-mile stretch of the network between junction 8 of the M60 near Sale and junction 20 of the M62 near Rochdale.

When the work is completed, around 200 new electronic signs will warn drivers of changes in the mandatory speed limit, lane closures and incidents ahead. The hard shoulder will be permanently converted to an extra lane between junctions 18 and 20 of the M62.

More than 500 people have been working on the motorway since the project began in July, carrying out site surveys and ground investigation work as well as installing nearly 130 temporary CCTV cameras to monitor traffic and respond quickly to incidents.

Narrow lanes and a steel safety barrier will now be introduced on the section of the M62 between junctions 18 and 20 to allow contractors to begin installing nearly 1,000 new lighting columns as well as the technology needed for the overhead message signs.

Stephen Greenhalgh, project manager at the Highways Agency, said: "Our teams have been working hard on the smart motorway project since July, with the majority of work taking place overnight so that we can keep all of the lanes open throughout the day.

"We're now at a stage where we can begin the main construction work and so need to introduce narrow lanes on a five-mile stretch of the M62 for the safety of our workforce.

"We'd like to thank road users for their patience so far and would encourage them to continue to drive carefully through the road works."

Overnight closures will be in place for four nights next week, between 10pm and 5am, while contractors install the narrow lanes. The eastbound side of the M62 will close overnight between junctions 18 and 19 on Monday 17 November, and between junctions 19 and 20 on Tuesday 18 November.

The westbound side will then close overnight between junctions 20 and 19 on Wednesday 19 November, and between junctions 19 and 18 on Thursday 20 November. Diversions will be in place when the motorway is closed, and access to Birch Services will also be affected by the closures.

A temporary 50mph speed limit, enforced by average speed cameras, is currently in place along the smart motorway route for the safety of road workers and motorists.

The Greater Manchester smart motorway scheme is due to be completed by autumn 2017.

In February 2010 the Highways Agency announced the National Major Projects Framework. The package of work to construct the M60 junction 8 to M62 junction 20 smart motorway has been allocated under this framework. The four delivery partners appointed to the framework are Balfour Beatty, BAM Morgan Sindall Joint Venture, Carillion and Costain. Balfour Beatty is the lead partner on the latest works.

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