M6 junction 2 to junction 4: smart motorway

Improving the busy 13.6 mile (22km) stretch of the M6 between junction 2 at Coventry and junction 4 near Coleshill by upgrading it to an all-lane running smart motorway.

Region:  West Midlands
Start date:  2017/18
Cost:  £155 million to £234 million
Status:  CURRENT
Type:  Major Scheme
End date:  2019/20
Programme:  Smart Motorways

Progress report

We had a very busy month during November, replacing over 1.5 kilometres of drainage and installing approximately 550 metres of environmental barrier.

We've now completed the removal of the old technology previously installed on the M6 (gantries and cabling) and completed 25% of the new cabling infrastructure in the verge; this cabling will support the new technology installed as part of the upgrade to a smart motorway and power the road lighting.

We've used numerous overnight closures of the M6 to install the new gantries and undertake as much additional work as possible.

In total so far, we have:

  • installed 21 new gantries
  • replaced 3,700 metres of existing drainage
  • completed 80% of the foundations required for further drainage installation
  • completed 34,000 metres of surfacing
  • installed 1,225 metres of environmental barrier

Due to the layout of our roadworks area, there is currently no place of relative safety to exit the motorway other than the slip roads. Therefore we're offering a free recovery service for anybody that breaks down within our works area. If you break down in the nearside lane, if possible you should exit your vehicle by the passenger side door and stay away from the vehicle, if possible behind a safety barrier.

If it’s not possible to get out of your vehicle safely, or there's no other place of relative safety to wait, you should stay in your vehicle with your seat belt on and dial 999.

What's next?

Works will continue within the verge, which includes drainage improvements, constructing emergency areas, constructing foundations for new gantries and preparing the hard shoulder to be converted into a permanent traffic lane.

Works will also continue to refurbish and install gantries in both directions of the carriageway. In order to carry out this work, there will be a requirement to close the carriageway and in some cases, this will be in both directions. Closure information can be found 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: M6.j2-4@highwaysengland.co.uk to be added to our closure information distribution list, sent out each week.

Diversion routes

 

 

Timeline

Date Event
2015-2016 Design work
July 2016 Exhibition events
Winter 2017 Start of works
March 2020 End of works

Why we need this scheme

The M6 at junctions 2 to 4 currently suffers frequent delays due to the volume of traffic. This scheme will provide greater traffic capacity and more reliable journey times by improving the flow of traffic.

Aims

This scheme aims to:

  • reduced congestion by smoothing the flow of traffic to improve journey times and make them more reliable
  • facilitate economic growth within the region, by providing much needed capacity on the motorway
  • maximise motorway capacity while maintaining safety on motorways, which already are among the safest roads in the world

The scheme in detail

This project involves:

  • converting the hard shoulder to create a permanent fourth lane between junctions 2 and 3a
  • converting the climbing lane eastbound between junction 3a and 3 to a permanent traffic lane and retaining the hard shoulder
  • between junctions 4 and 3a the motorway will have 3 lanes and a hard shoulder; this is designed to tie in with the existing M6 junction 5 to 8 smart motorway
  • installing new electronic information signs, signals and CCTV cameras - these will be used to vary speed limits and manage traffic flow and incidents
  • installing 9 emergency refuge areas to use in place of the hard shoulder
  • improving the central reserve and adding a reinforced barrier to improve safety
  • adding new noise barriers in built up areas

Environmental impact

Ecological mitigation work is continuing, including the relocation of great crested newts within the highways boundary during spring 2018.

We've undertaken an environmental assessment that covers topics including noise and vibration, air quality, ecology and visual impacts. The results are presented in an Environmental Study Report where we describe the measures we'll take to minimise impact and enhance the environment. Appendices are available on request by emailing the project team.

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 J6 and J2 . Reason : Roadworks scheme. Status : Currently Active. Period : from 20:00 on 8 December 2018 to 06:00 on 27 January 2019.
Posted: December 15, 2018, 3:51 am
Location : The M42 northbound exit slip at junction J7A . Reason : Roadworks scheme. Status : Currently Active. Period : from 20:00 on 14 December 2018 to 06:00 on 27 January 2019.
Posted: December 14, 2018, 8:00 pm
Location : The M42 southbound at junction J8 . Lane Closures : The hard shoulder will be closed. Reason : Emergency roadworks are planned. Status : Pending. Schedule : From 20:00 on 16 December 2018 to 06:00 on 17 December 2018. Lanes Closed : There will be one of five lanes closed.
Posted: December 14, 2018, 4:40 pm
Location : The M42 southbound exit slip at junction J8 . Reason : Emergency roadworks are planned. Status : Pending. Schedule : From 20:00 on 16 December 2018 to 06:00 on 17 December 2018.
Posted: December 14, 2018, 4:40 pm
Location : The M6 northbound exit slip at junction J4 to A446. Reason : Roadworks are planned. Status : Pending. Schedule : Expect disruption everyday between 22:00 and 06:00 from 18 December 2018 to 20 December 2018. Schedule : Expect disruption everyday between 22:00 and 06:00 from 14 January 2019 to 20 January 2019. Schedule : From 22:00 on 26 January 2019 to 06:00 on 27 January 2019. Lanes Closed : All lanes will be closed.
Posted: December 14, 2018, 10:42 am
Location : The M42 southbound between junctions J7 and J6 . Lane Closures : Lanes 1 and 2 will be closed. Reason : Roadworks are planned. Status : Pending. Schedule : Expect disruption everyday between 22:00 and 06:00 from 18 December 2018 to 20 December 2018. Schedule : Expect disruption everyday between 22:00 and 06:00 from 14 January 2019 to 20 January 2019. Schedule : From 22:00 on 26 January 2019 to 06:00 on 27 January 2019. Lanes Closed : All lanes will be closed.
Posted: December 14, 2018, 10:42 am
Location : The M42 northbound between junctions J6 and J8 . Lane Closures : Lanes 1, 2 and 3 will be closed. Reason : Road repairs are planned. Status : Pending. Schedule : From 21:00 on 19 December 2018 to 06:00 on 20 December 2018. Lanes Closed : All lanes will be closed.
Posted: December 12, 2018, 9:10 pm
Location : The M6 northbound between junctions J4 and J6 . Lane Closures : Lanes 2 and 3 will be closed. Reason : Barrier repairs are planned. Status : Pending. Schedule : Expect disruption everyday between 22:00 and 05:00 from 18 December 2018 to 20 December 2018. Lanes Closed : There will be two of four lanes closed.
Posted: December 12, 2018, 2:30 pm
Location : The M6 southbound between junctions J6 and J4 . Lane Closures : Lanes 2 and 3 will be closed. Reason : Barrier repairs are planned. Status : Pending. Schedule : From 22:00 on 19 December 2018 to 05:00 on 20 December 2018. Lanes Closed : There will be two of three lanes closed.
Posted: December 12, 2018, 2:30 pm
Location : The M42 southbound between junctions J6 and J5 . Lane Closures : Lanes 2 and 3 will be closed. Reason : Emergency roadworks are planned. Status : Pending. Schedule : From 21:30 on 18 December 2018 to 05:30 on 19 December 2018. Lanes Closed : There will be two of three lanes closed.
Posted: December 11, 2018, 9:40 pm
Location : The M42 southbound between junctions J7A and J6 . Reason : Roadworks scheme is planned. Status : Pending. Schedule : From 21:00 on 16 December 2018 to 06:00 on 17 December 2018.
Posted: December 10, 2018, 11:30 pm
Location : The M42 northbound between junctions J6 and J8 . Lane Closures : Lanes 2 and 3 will be closed. Reason : Roadworks are planned. Status : Pending. Schedule : From 21:00 on 16 December 2018 to 06:00 on 17 December 2018. Lanes Closed : There will be two of four lanes closed.
Posted: December 10, 2018, 11:30 pm
Location : The M42 northbound between junctions J6 and J8 . Reason : Roadworks scheme is planned. Status : Pending. Schedule : From 21:00 on 16 December 2018 to 06:00 on 17 December 2018.
Posted: December 10, 2018, 11:30 pm
Location : The M42 southbound at junction J7A . Lane Closures : Lane two will be closed. Reason : Roadworks are planned. Status : Pending. Schedule : From 21:00 on 16 December 2018 to 06:00 on 17 December 2018. Lanes Closed : There will be one of three lanes closed.
Posted: December 10, 2018, 11:30 pm
Location : The M42 southbound between junctions J7A and J6 . Lane Closures : Lanes 2 and 3 will be closed. Reason : Roadworks are planned. Status : Pending. Schedule : From 21:00 on 16 December 2018 to 06:00 on 17 December 2018. Lanes Closed : There will be two of four lanes closed.
Posted: December 10, 2018, 11:30 pm
Location : The M42 northbound between junctions J7A and J8 . Lane Closures : Lanes 2 and 3 will be closed. Reason : Roadworks are planned. Status : Pending. Schedule : From 21:00 on 16 December 2018 to 06:00 on 17 December 2018. Lanes Closed : There will be two of five lanes closed.
Posted: December 10, 2018, 11:30 pm
Location : The M42 northbound at junction J9 . Lane Closures : Lanes 1 and 2 will be closed. Reason : Roadworks are planned. Status : Pending. Schedule : From 21:00 on 17 December 2018 to 06:00 on 18 December 2018. Lanes Closed : There will be two of four lanes closed.
Posted: December 10, 2018, 9:07 am
Location : The M42 northbound between junctions J7A and J8 . Lane Closures : The hard shoulder, lanes 1 and 2 will be closed. Reason : Roadworks are planned. Status : Pending. Schedule : From 21:00 on 17 December 2018 to 06:00 on 18 December 2018. Lanes Closed : There will be three of five lanes closed.
Posted: December 10, 2018, 9:07 am
Location : The M42 northbound between junctions J7A and J8 . Lane Closures : The hard shoulder, lanes 1 and 2 will be closed. Reason : Roadworks are planned. Status : Pending. Schedule : From 21:00 on 17 December 2018 to 06:00 on 18 December 2018. Lanes Closed : There will be three of four lanes closed.
Posted: December 10, 2018, 9:07 am
Location : The M6 southbound exit slip at junction J4A . Lane Closures : Lanes 1 and 2 will be closed. Reason : Roadworks are planned. Status : Pending. Schedule : From 21:00 on 17 December 2018 to 06:00 on 18 December 2018. Lanes Closed : All lanes will be closed.
Posted: December 10, 2018, 9:07 am
Location : The M42 northbound between junctions J7A and J9 . Reason : Roadworks scheme is planned. Status : Pending. Schedule : From 21:00 on 17 December 2018 to 06:00 on 18 December 2018.
Posted: December 10, 2018, 9:07 am
Location : The M42 northbound entry slip at junction J8 . Lane Closures : Lanes 1 and 2 will be closed. Reason : Roadworks are planned. Status : Pending. Schedule : From 21:00 on 17 December 2018 to 06:00 on 18 December 2018. Lanes Closed : All lanes will be closed.
Posted: December 10, 2018, 9:07 am
Location : The M42 northbound at junction J9 . Lane Closures : Lanes 1 and 2 will be closed. Reason : Roadworks are planned. Status : Pending. Schedule : From 21:00 on 17 December 2018 to 06:00 on 18 December 2018. Lanes Closed : All lanes will be closed.
Posted: December 10, 2018, 9:07 am

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