Delay in the Completion of M60 and M62 Smart Motorway Confirmed by Highways England

The smart motorway scheme promised by Highways England for both the M60 and the M62 has been delayed, as recently confirmed by Highways England. The smart motorway section on the major road networks, which has a budget of £208 million, will not be open until the summer of 2018. In a previous statement, Highways England said that the scheme will be finished by the autumn of 2017.

The smart motorway scheme promised by Highways England for both the M60 and the M62 has been delayed

The smart motorway scheme promised by Highways England for both the M60 and the M62 has been delayed

A partial opening in the autumn 

Highways England has pointed out, however, that a part or phase of the scheme, which runs on all lanes, will begin this autumn, along with the proposed removal of some temporary lanes that are scattered across different sections. This will also be followed by the introduction of flexible or variable limits on speed as well as the opening of the previous hard shoulder.

Highways England added that there are several issues that need to be addressed, such as the relocation of utility piping which is unrecorded as well as the carrying out of extra maintenance repairs, which means that a portion of the work on the scheme will need to be continued until 2018. Highways England also stated that the temporary limits on speed of 50mph will continue to be in place in every section and will only be removed once a section is finished. 
The delay on the smart motorway scheme for the M60 and the M62 follows another delay in regards to the complete opening of the smart motorway on the M3, where speed limits were also required during the commissioning of new technology. 

Highways England remains optimistic 

Highways England’s senior project manager, Jon Stokes, remains optimistic. He said that they should be able to start with a phased or partial opening of the smart motorway in the autumn, which will, in turn, benefit about 180,000 motorists who make use of the same route daily. Mr. Stokes added that about 600 workers are dedicated to completing the scheme and project, and each section on the route will be opened as soon as it is possible to do so. 

Highways England also stated that this smart motorway scheme is their most complex to date, and it affects the 2nd busiest road network in the country. It runs through a total of 13 junctions as well, which makes the job more complicated. To minimise inconvenience and disruption to motorists, Highways England has had to keep all lanes running in every direction in the daytime, but this means that major work can only be accomplished at night. This has also affected the duration of the scheme and contributed to its delay.  The scheme, in full, extends between M60’s junction 8 (which is near the town of Sale) to M62’s junction 20, which is near Rochdale.

Posted on 02 Oct 2017 in News

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