21 June 2012
A new phase of construction work to turn the M62 in West Yorkshire into the region's first managed motorway starts this weekend when gantry installation work moves to Junctions 26 and 27.
The 150m pound managed motorway scheme will cut congestion, make journey times more reliable and improve safety through the use of variable mandatory speed limits and by opening the hard shoulder as an extra running lane.
The scheme covers a 15.5-mile section of the M62 between Junction 25 (Brighouse) and Junction 30 (Rothwell) used by an estimated 140,000 motorists a day.
From this Saturday (23 June) through to September, the focus will move to Junctions 26 and 27 with work including overnight closures of sliproads and the M62.
This weekend's work to install a single cantilever gantry will require a closure of the eastbound exit slip road only at J27 Gildersome between 8pm on Saturday 23 June until 8am on Sunday 24 June. A clearly signed diversion route will be in place.
As part of the managed motorway project, the Highways Agency will also be temporarily closing the M606/M62 High Vehicle Occupancy Lane (HOV), which links the southbound M606 near Bradford to the eastbound M62 (J26) towards Leeds. The lane will be closed from 8pm on Saturday 23 June for four weeks in order to safely carry out construction work in the central reservation on the slip road. Two lanes on the slip road from the Chain Bar roundabout will remain open to traffic, ensuring that disruption is kept to a minimum.
David Pilsworth, Highways Agency project manager, said: "Work on this scheme is progressing very well. The Highways Agency has dedicated a significant amount of time and expertise to planning this phased approach to the managed motorway scheme to cause the minumum amount of inconvenience to road users. Using overnight closures gives us full access to the motorway and means we can install the gantries, signs and signals safely and as quickly and efficiently as possible. The temporary closure of the High Occupancy Vehicle Lane on the M606 should not cause too much disruption for road users. However we do advise people to allow extra time for their journeys, especially if they are travelling during the morning and evening peak periods."
The first phase of work to install gantries and signing began in March between Junctions 27 and 28 and entailed a carefully-planned series of overnight weekend closures to allow for installation of nine overhead gantries and two variable message signs.
A total of 36 new overhead gantries - some weighing over 30 tonnes - are required along the new managed motorway section. A further 16 existing gantries are being upgraded to take new signage. The gantries will house signs used to display variable speed limits to manage traffic flow and reduce congestion.
Further weekend overnight closures will be required on various sections of the M62 between junctions 25 (Brighouse) to 30 (Rothwell) until November. To support journey planning, information will be shared with road users in advance of each closure.
Work to convert the M62 to a managed motorway started in October. The scheme is scheduled to open to traffic in 2013-14.
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