Project Update: M6 Smart Motorway

Junction 16 - 19

With construction teams aiming to install the first of the new gantries this Easter, work is continuing to progress well on the M6 smart motorway project between Crewe and Knutsford. Installation of the new concrete safety barrier in the central reserve between junction 19 and Malkins Bank overbridge has been completed and the delivery team have switched the traffic management to the motorway verges to begin the verge works. Work will continue to move south towards junction 16 installing the last pieces of concrete safety barrier.

What next?

Working is taking place in the motorway verge between junctions 19 and 17 to:

  • construct 18 new emergency areas between junctions 16 and 19
  • replace and renew existing drainage and manholes
  • install a new ducting system for power and fibre cables
  • construct foundations for the new gantries
  • install overhead gantries and 258 electronic signs
  • install 70 CCTV cameras to provide full CCTV coverage


Junction 13 - 15

The first phase of traffic management installation is now approaching completion. Currently work is beginning to take place in the central reserve from Junction 115 moving southbound. The initial central reserve work involves removing the existing metal barrier and topsoil removal. By the end of July, the main earthworks and new drainage installation will begin, followed by the construction of a new, safer concrete barrier. 

What's next?

Over the coming months, work will continue to:

  • carry out an extensive upgrade of the existing drainage system within the central reserve
  • replace and renew existing manholes and associated drainage
  • continue with the existing steel central barrier and topsoil removal
  • begin work to construct the new concrete barrier

If you're interested in opportunities on this project and have a proven capability of delivering prime highways projects, chat to Sean Furlong.

Junction 2 - 4

Highways England is improving the 20km stretch of the M6 between Junction 2 at Coventry and Junction 4 near Coleshill by upgrading it to an ‘all lane running’ smart motorway. Construction is scheduled to begin this winter and will involve installation of gantries and monitoring equipment, new drainage systems, safety barriers, construction of emergency refuge areas and carriageway resurfacing. It’s hoped the scheme will provide greater traffic capacity, and more reliable journey times by improving the flow of traffic for this section of the M6 and is expected to be completed in early 2020.

In addition to the main smart motorway scheme, there will also be improvements to junction 4. This will include increasing the number of lanes to aid the flow of traffic for the proposed Birmingham Interchange Station.

So far the project has seen the installation of 530m of new drainage, removal of 23 existing overhead gantries for refurbishment, the installation of 5 scheme boards and removal of existing technology in the verge, including CCTV cameras, 11.8 miles of cabling and emergency roadside telephones in order to facilitate the new construction works

Whats next?

The next stage will be to carry out the earthworks. Earthworks will include vegetation clearance and widen the verge to facilitate the upcoming works, including the installation of cameras, gantries and environmental barriers.

If you’re interested in finding out more about this project and position’s available, chat to Steve Castle.