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Highways England keeps M6 open with contraflows as huge gantries installed
Photo Credit To Highways England

Highways England keeps M6 open with contraflows as huge gantries installed

Highways England keeps M6 open with contraflows as huge gantries installed

Six motorway gantries which will house up-to-date technology to improve safety have been put up on a section of the M6 without the need for any road closures thanks to the contraflow system now in place.

In just seven days the gantries, which weigh between 13 and 32 tonnes each, were installed on the northbound carriageway between junctions 13 to 14 in Staffordshire as part of a motorway upgrade.

One of the gantries now in place on the M6 near Stafford which will house up-to-date technology.
One of the gantries now in place on the M6 near Stafford which will house up-to-date technology.

Seventeen miles of the M6 between junctions 13 (Stafford) and 15 (Stoke-on-Trent) are being upgraded and when the work is completed the gantries will house electronic signs to alert drivers to changes in the speed limit, lane closures and incidents ahead.

Thanks to the contraflow system in place – which runs for almost the length of the works – traffic was able to travel in that lane enabling workers to carry out the installations safely without having to shut the motorway.

The contraflow system was introduced last year and will cut the length of time the roadworks will be running as well as reducing the number of motorway closures needed.

The huge message board is lifted into place.
The huge message board is lifted into place.

A major motorway upgrade will usually require up to 200 full motorway closures to complete construction work.  However, by using a contraflow, the number of full closures needed on this scheme has been reduced by up to half, benefiting local people and drivers.

Drivers still go through the roadworks at the same speed but the contraflows create larger construction areas at the side of the motorway enabling more work to be safely carried out in one shift, speeding up the project.

Contraflows allow more space for working to be created at the verge which means contractors can carry out bigger works, normally carried out overnight, during the day.

Highways England Smart Motorways Sponsor Peter Smith said: “When completed, the upgrade of this congested stretch of motorway will bring much more reliable journeys. These gantries and the enhanced technology will give drivers better information to help with their journeys through Staffordshire and beyond.

“We always try to get roadworks carried out as quickly as possible and with minimum disruption to road users so we are delighted that the contraflow is helping us to achieve that.”

The huge message board is lifted into place.
The huge message board is lifted into place.

Later this summer ‘superspan’ gantries will be installed as part of the upgrade to a smart motorway. These span both the north and southbound carriageways with a width of 40 metres and weigh over 38 tonnes.

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Post source : Highways England

About The Author

Anthony has worked in the construction industry for many years and looks forward to bringing you news and stories on the highways industry from all over the world.

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