M6 junction 13 to junction 15 smart motorway

We propose to improve the M6 by making it a smart motorway between junctions 13 and 15.

Region:  West Midlands
Start date:  2017/18
Cost:  £232.3 to £335.4 million
Status:  CURRENT
Type:  Major Scheme
End date:  2021/22
Programme:  Smart Motorways

Progress report

We installed a new concrete safety barrier and improved the drainage system in the central reservation from junction 15 to Yarnfield Lane overbridge.

Following the completion of the central reservation work, we have changed our traffic management layout in this area and are using a ‘contraflow’. This means we now have one lane of traffic heading northbound running on the southbound carriageway. This will allow room for the next phase of work to start in the verge on the northbound carriageway between Yarnfield Lane overbridge and junction 15.

Work is now well underway on the section of central reservation between Yarnfield Lane overbridge and junction 14. We are removing the existing steel barrier, excavating the centre of the motorway, installing additional drainage, resurfacing and fitting the new concrete central reservation barrier. This phase of work will be in place until early 2020.

The digital version of our February newsletter is now available.

What's next?

Following the installation of the contraflow, we will now start work in the verges between Yarnfield Lane overbridge and junction 15. Vegetation clearance has already started prior to bird nesting season and, once complete, we will start some of the heavier construction activities. These will include the installation of new drainage, constructing emergency areas, and upgrading railway bridges to include new safety railings.

In addition, we will be installing 13 new gantries in the verges, requiring the construction of foundations. These gantries will hold the technology that monitors and controls the motorway traffic.

This is all needed to prepare the hard shoulder to be converted into a permanent traffic lane and allow for all lane running.

Please view our diversion routes in the section below.

You can find closure information on the roadworks tab below, and on Traffic England. Alternatively, if you wish to be sent our weekly Traffic Management Bulletin, which details all planned closures for smart motorway work on the M6 between junctions 2 and 19, please email: M6J13-15@kier.co.uk

Burton Bank footbridge demolition

Following the successful demolition of Creswell Home Farm bridge in September last year, we will now be demolishing Burton Bank footbridge between junctions 13 and 14.

Currently, there isn’t enough headroom for heavy goods vehicles between the hard shoulder and existing footbridge to allow for all lane running. We need to demolish the footbridge to create the additional headroom required.

The bridge demolition is scheduled to take place overnight from Saturday 23 March to Sunday 24 March 2019. We will need to close 2 lanes in each direction of the M6 between junctions 13 and 14 from 5pm Saturday 23 March before completely closing the motorway at 8pm. (Please note - dates and times are subject to change. please check the Roadworks tab below for details).

The demolition could take up to 18 hours however we are hoping to reopen the motorway sooner than this.

We will be advertising the closure on electronic variable message signs on the motorway network, from as far as Dover to Carlisle. We will be using these to warn drivers to expect delays on the M6 and advising that they avoid the area and use alternative routes where possible.

The bridge weighs 143 tonnes and we will demolish it using two large machines that will munch through the structure. We will put a large safety mat over the carriageway to prevent any damage to the road surface during the demolition. We will take any debris off-site straight away to a nearby compound, reducing the time needed for the motorway closure and the use of site vehicles on local roads.

We would like to thank motorists and residents in advance for their patience during this work.

Please visit @HighwaysWMIDS on Twitter for live updates during the demolition weekend.

What is a contraflow and how will it benefit you?

A contraflow is a temporary arrangement where traffic is transferred from its usual side to share the other half of the carriageway with traffic moving in the opposite direction. This layout will provide a wider working space in the verge, allowing our teams to safely speed up certain construction activities. A contraflow will reduce the amount of overnight closures we need by around 60%. This will benefit road users and residents living on diversion routes through Stafford.

A typical smart motorway scheme will require approximately 200 full motorway closures to complete construction activities using narrow lanes. However, by using a contraflow arrangement, we are able to reduce the number of full closures to an average of 60. This is because contraflow allows us to carry out larger activities that are normally carried out overnight, during the day.

As there is more space in the verge to work, site vehicles will be able to pass each other without having to wait until another team has finished an activity. As there will be less traffic management to install overnight, this gives us a greater working window to complete the project quicker and more safely than traditional ways of working.

Please note that road users wishing to exit at junction 15 will need to remain in lanes 1 and 2 as they drive through the contraflow.

Contraflow infographic

Timeline

Event Date
Public information exhibitions March 2018
Start of work June 2018
Creswell Home Farm Bridge demolition Phase 1 September / Phase 2 October 2018
Contraflow implementation January 2019
Burton Bank Bridge demolition March 2019
Open for traffic Spring 2022

Diversion routes

 

 

Why we need this scheme

This route experiences heavy congestion at peak time.

Aims

The smart motorways technology will:

  • reduce congestion and smooth the flow of traffic
  • improve journey time reliability
  • support economic development in the region
  • minimise environmental impacts
  • continue to deliver a high level of safety performance on the network

The scheme in detail

We're upgrading the busy 28km stretch of the M6 between junction 13 at Stafford and Junction 15 near Newcastle under Lyme and Stoke on Trent to make it a smart motorway.

We're expecting to start the main construction work in March 2018 and plan to complete the scheme by March 2022.

The scheme will involve:

  • permanent conversion of the hard shoulder to create a fourth lane and changing the junctions to accommodate this
  • new CCTV cameras and electronic information signs and signals on gantries - these will show variable mandatory speed limits and manage traffic flow and incidents
  • emergency refuge areas throughout the length of the scheme
  • the hardening of the central reserve and installation of a reinforced barrier to improve safety
  • nearly 2km of new noise barriers in built up areas
  • a replacement footbridge at Burton Bank
  • upgrades to Dunston and Norton railway bridges
  • widening of Creswell Viaduct
  • demolition of the redundant Creswell Home Farm bridge
  • minor improvements to Junction 15

We’re improving a number of stretches along the M6 motorway by upgrading them to a smart motorway:

Environment impact

We’ve made an assessment of the environmental impact and found that there will be no long term significant effects. There will be some temporary effects during construction to changes in views, construction noise, disruption to road users and a very minimal loss of habitat. We’ll ensure these effects are minimised as much as possible. The issues considered are:
  • air quality, noise and visual impacts in relation to nearby housing
  • the Sites of Special Scientific Interest at Doxey and Tillington Marshes and Kings and Hargreave’s woods
  • protected species and habitats including bats, badgers and great crested newts
  • the setting of conservation areas and heritage assets such as Trentham Park
  • public rights of way

Project media files and documents

Project timeline

Planned roadworks

Roadworks and Events for England

The latest incident information for England's motorway and trunk routes provided by Highways England

Location : The M6 southbound between junctions J12 and J11A . Lane Closures : Lane one is closed. Reason : Planned Roadworks. Status : Currently Active. Period : expect disruption until 06:30 on 21 February 2019. Lanes Closed : There is one of four lanes closed.
Posted: February 20, 2019, 9:03 pm
Location : The M6 northbound between junctions J12 and J13 . Lane Closures : Lanes 1 and 2 will be closed. Reason : Emergency barrier repairs are planned. Status : Pending. Schedule : From 21:00 on 21 February 2019 to 06:00 on 22 February 2019. Lanes Closed : There will be two of four lanes closed.
Posted: February 20, 2019, 6:34 pm
Location : The A449 southbound between the A5 and the junction with the M54 . Lane Closures : Lane one will be closed. Reason : Roadworks are planned. Status : Pending. Schedule : Expect disruption everyday between 09:00 and 16:30 from 21 February 2019 to 22 February 2019. Schedule : Expect disruption everyday between 09:00 and 16:30 from 25 February 2019 to 1 March 2019. Schedule : Expect disruption everyday between 09:00 and 16:30 from 4 March 2019 to 8 March 2019. Lanes Closed : There will be one of two lanes closed.
Posted: February 20, 2019, 4:31 pm
Location : The M6 northbound between junctions J13 and J14 . Reason : Roadworks. Status : Currently Active. Period : expect disruption until 23:59 on 28 April 2019.
Posted: February 20, 2019, 4:18 pm
Location : The M6 southbound between junctions J14 and J13 . Lane Closures : Lanes 1 and 2 will be closed. Reason : Barrier repairs are planned. Status : Pending. Schedule : From 21:00 on 22 February 2019 to 06:00 on 23 February 2019. Lanes Closed : There will be two of three lanes closed.
Posted: February 20, 2019, 6:02 am
Location : The M6 southbound between junctions J14 and J13 . Lane Closures : The hard shoulder is closed. Reason : Emergency bridge repairs. Status : Currently Active. Period : expect disruption until 23:59 on 1 March 2019.
Posted: February 20, 2019, 12:04 am
Location : The M6 northbound between junctions J13 and J14 . Lane Closures : Lanes 1 and 2 will be closed. Reason : Barrier repairs are planned. Status : Pending. Schedule : From 21:00 on 22 February 2019 to 06:00 on 23 February 2019. Lanes Closed : There will be two of three lanes closed.
Posted: February 19, 2019, 1:42 pm
Location : The M6 northbound exit slip at junction J14 . Reason : Roadworks. Status : Currently Active. Period : expect disruption until 23:59 on 28 April 2019.
Posted: February 19, 2019, 10:16 am
Location : The M6 northbound between junctions J12 and J13 . Reason : Roadworks. Status : Currently Active. Period : expect disruption until 23:59 on 28 April 2019.
Posted: February 19, 2019, 10:16 am
Location : The M6 northbound between junctions J14 and J15 . Reason : Roadworks. Status : Currently Active. Period : expect disruption until 23:59 on 28 April 2019.
Posted: February 19, 2019, 10:16 am
Location : The M6 southbound between junctions J13 and J12 . Reason : Roadworks. Status : Currently Active. Period : expect disruption until 23:59 on 28 April 2019.
Posted: February 19, 2019, 10:15 am
Location : The A449 southbound between the A5 and the junction with the M54 . Reason : Roadworks scheme. Status : Currently Active. Period : from 09:00 on 1 February 2019 to 16:30 on 8 March 2019.
Posted: February 19, 2019, 10:15 am
Location : The M6 southbound between junctions J15 and J12 . Reason : Roadworks scheme. Status : Currently Active. Period : from 12:20 on 17 October 2018 to 23:59 on 28 April 2019.
Posted: February 19, 2019, 10:15 am
Location : The M6 southbound between junctions J15 and J13 . Reason : Roadworks. Status : Currently Active. Period : expect disruption until 23:59 on 28 April 2019.
Posted: February 19, 2019, 10:15 am
Location : The M6 northbound between junctions J14 and J15 . Reason : Roadworks scheme. Status : Currently Active. Period : from 12:21 on 17 October 2018 to 23:59 on 28 April 2019.
Posted: February 19, 2019, 10:14 am
Location : The M6 northbound entry slip at junction J14 . Reason : Roadworks. Status : Currently Active. Period : expect disruption until 23:59 on 28 April 2019.
Posted: February 19, 2019, 10:14 am
Location : The M6 southbound between junctions J14 and J11A . Lane Closures : Lanes 1, 2 and 3 will be closed. Reason : Barrier repairs are planned. Status : Pending. Schedule : Expect disruption everyday between 21:00 and 06:00 from 25 February 2019 to 27 February 2019. Lanes Closed : All lanes will be closed.
Posted: February 19, 2019, 10:08 am
Location : The M6 southbound exit slip at junction J12 . Lane Closures : Lanes 1 and 2 will be closed. Reason : Barrier repairs are planned. Status : Pending. Schedule : Expect disruption everyday between 21:00 and 06:00 from 25 February 2019 to 27 February 2019. Lanes Closed : All lanes will be closed.
Posted: February 19, 2019, 10:08 am
Location : The M6 southbound entry slip at junction J13 . Lane Closures : Lanes 1 and 2 will be closed. Reason : Barrier repairs are planned. Status : Pending. Schedule : Expect disruption everyday between 21:00 and 06:00 from 25 February 2019 to 27 February 2019. Lanes Closed : All lanes will be closed.
Posted: February 19, 2019, 10:08 am

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