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

Work in the northbound verge, from just north of Yarnfield Lane overbridge up to junction 15, is moving quickly. We’ve started several activities to help us build retaining walls and start the foundation work for the large gantries we will install. We’re also working on installing new emergency areas in the verge, this involve heavy earthworks and excavations. This section should be complete by autumn.

We’ve completed most of the work on the section of central reservation between Yarnfield Lane overbridge and junction 14. We’ve removed the existing steel barrier, excavated the central reserve, installed additional drainage and resurfaced the carriageway. We’re now carrying out work to install the new concrete central reservation barrier. This will be complete by summer 2019.

Work is well underway to remove the steel barrier, excavate the centre of the motorway and install additional drainage between J14 to J13. The resurfacing and installation of the new concrete central reservation barrier will follow later in the summer and should be complete by early 2020.

What's next?

In July, we’ll start to switch from working in the central reservation between junction 14 and Yarnfield Lane overbridge to working in the northbound verge.

This will mean extending the contraflow for the full length of the motorway stretching between junctions 14 and 15, a total length of 11miles (18km). If you want to visit Stafford services or exit at junction 15, you will need to stay in lanes one and two.

Burton Bank footbridge demolition

Over the weekend of 23 and 24 March 2019, we closed the M6 between junctions 13 and 14 overnight to demolish Burton Bank footbridge. We demolished the bridge successfully and were able to open the motorway by 7.30am, which was earlier than we anticipated.

We recognise that there is never a good time to close this busy stretch of the M6 and would like to thank you for your patience during this work.

We had to demolish the bridge because there wasn’t enough headroom for heavy goods vehicles between the hard shoulder and the footbridge to allow for all lane running.

We worked throughout the night to prepare and demolish the bridge. Once it was demolished, we carried out a massive clean-up operation to make sure we could open the motorway as soon as possible.

Work started at 5pm on Saturday when we reduced the motorway to one lane in both directions. This allowed us to start building the protective covering, which we put across the motorway to protect the road surface once we started the demolition.

We demolished the 143 tonne bridge using two large machines to ‘munch’ through the structure. By 11.50pm on Saturday 23 March the bridge was safely on the ground being crunched into smaller pieces ready for removal.

While the motorway was closed, we also used the opportunity to carry out other activities like replacing the barrier and white lines.

View timelapse footage of the demolition:

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 northbound between junctions J13 and J14 . Lane Closures : Lanes 1 and 2 are closed. Reason : Roadworks. Status : Currently Active. Period : expect disruption until 06:00 on 21 June 2019. Lanes Closed : There are two of three lanes closed.
Posted: June 20, 2019, 9:08 pm
Location : The M6 northbound entry slip at junction J12 . Reason : Horticultural works. Status : Currently Active. Period : expect disruption until 06:00 on 21 June 2019. Lanes Closed : All lanes are closed.
Posted: June 20, 2019, 8:44 pm
Location : The M6 southbound between junctions J15 and J14 . Lane Closures : Lanes 1 and 2 are closed. Reason : Roadworks. Status : Currently Active. Period : expect disruption until 06:00 on 21 June 2019. Lanes Closed : There are two of three lanes closed.
Posted: June 20, 2019, 8:34 pm
Location : The M6 southbound between junctions J13 and J12 . Lane Closures : Lane one is closed. Reason : Horticultural works. Status : Currently Active. Period : expect disruption until 05:30 on 21 June 2019. Lanes Closed : There is one of four lanes closed.
Posted: June 20, 2019, 8:03 pm
Location : The M6 southbound exit slip at junction J12 . Reason : Horticultural works. Status : Currently Active. Period : expect disruption until 05:30 on 21 June 2019. Lanes Closed : All lanes are closed.
Posted: June 20, 2019, 8:03 pm
Location : The M6 northbound between junctions J12 and J13 . Lane Closures : Lane one is closed. Reason : Horticultural works. Status : Currently Active. Period : expect disruption until 05:30 on 21 June 2019. Lanes Closed : There is one of four lanes closed.
Posted: June 20, 2019, 8:03 pm
Location : The M6 southbound between junctions J14 and J13 . Reason : Roadworks scheme. Status : Currently Active. Period : from 21:30 on 14 June 2019 to 06:00 on 29 June 2019.
Posted: June 20, 2019, 4:16 pm
Location : The M6 northbound between junctions J13 and J14 . Reason : Roadworks scheme. Status : Currently Active. Period : from 21:00 on 18 June 2019 to 06:00 on 23 June 2019.
Posted: June 20, 2019, 4:05 pm
Location : The M6 southbound between junctions J15 and J14 . Lane Closures : Lanes 1 and 2 will be closed. Reason : Roadworks are planned. Status : Pending. Schedule : From 21:00 on 24 June 2019 to 06:00 on 25 June 2019. Lanes Closed : There will be two of three lanes closed.
Posted: June 20, 2019, 5:03 am
Location : The M6 northbound between junctions J12 and J13 . Lane Closures : Lane one will be closed. Reason : Roadworks are planned. Status : Pending. Schedule : From 21:00 on 26 June 2019 to 06:00 on 27 June 2019. Lanes Closed : There will be one of four lanes closed.
Posted: June 19, 2019, 8:12 pm
Location : The A5 northbound between the junctions with the A4601 and the M6 . Reason : Emergency roadworks are planned. Status : Pending. Schedule : From 22:00 on 25 June 2019 to 05:00 on 26 June 2019. Lanes Closed : All lanes will be closed.
Posted: June 19, 2019, 2:29 pm
Location : The M6 northbound exit slip at junction J14 . Reason : Roadworks. Status : Currently Active. Period : expect disruption until 23:59 on 28 April 2020.
Posted: June 19, 2019, 2:29 pm
Location : The M6 northbound between junctions J14 and J15 . Reason : Roadworks. Status : Currently Active. Period : expect disruption until 23:59 on 28 April 2020.
Posted: June 19, 2019, 2:29 pm
Location : The M6 southbound between junctions J15 and J12 . Reason : Roadworks scheme. Status : Currently Active. Period : from 12:32 on 29 April 2019 to 23:59 on 28 April 2020.
Posted: June 19, 2019, 2:29 pm
Location : The M6 northbound exit slip at junction J14 . Lane Closures : Lanes 1 and 2 will be closed. Reason : Roadworks are planned. Status : Pending. Schedule : From 21:00 on 21 June 2019 to 06:00 on 22 June 2019. Lanes Closed : All lanes will be closed.
Posted: June 19, 2019, 2:29 pm
Location : The M6 northbound between junctions J13 and J14 . Reason : Roadworks. Status : Currently Active. Period : expect disruption until 23:59 on 28 April 2020.
Posted: June 19, 2019, 2:29 pm
Location : The M6 southbound between junctions J15 and J13 . Reason : Roadworks. Status : Currently Active. Period : expect disruption until 23:59 on 28 April 2020.
Posted: June 19, 2019, 2:29 pm
Location : The M6 southbound between junctions J13 and J12 . Reason : Roadworks. Status : Currently Active. Period : expect disruption until 23:59 on 28 April 2020.
Posted: June 19, 2019, 2:29 pm
Location : The M6 southbound between junctions J15 and J14 . Lane Closures : Lanes 1 and 2 will be closed. Reason : Roadworks are planned. Status : Pending. Schedule : From 21:00 on 26 June 2019 to 06:00 on 27 June 2019. Lanes Closed : There will be two of three lanes closed.
Posted: June 19, 2019, 2:29 pm
Location : The M6 northbound between junctions J14 and J15 . Reason : Roadworks scheme. Status : Currently Active. Period : from 12:32 on 29 April 2019 to 23:59 on 28 April 2020.
Posted: June 19, 2019, 2:29 pm
Location : The A5 southbound between the junctions with the M6 and the A4601 . Reason : Emergency roadworks are planned. Status : Pending. Schedule : From 22:00 on 25 June 2019 to 05:00 on 26 June 2019. Lanes Closed : All lanes will be closed.
Posted: June 19, 2019, 2:29 pm
Location : The M6 southbound between junctions J15 and J14 . Reason : Roadworks scheme. Status : Currently Active. Period : from 21:02 on 17 June 2019 to 06:00 on 27 June 2019.
Posted: June 19, 2019, 2:29 pm
Location : The M6 northbound between junctions J12 and J13 . Reason : Roadworks. Status : Currently Active. Period : expect disruption until 23:59 on 28 April 2020.
Posted: June 19, 2019, 2:29 pm
Location : The M6 northbound entry slip at junction J14 . Reason : Roadworks. Status : Currently Active. Period : expect disruption until 23:59 on 28 April 2020.
Posted: June 19, 2019, 2:29 pm

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