An all lane running scheme on the M60 and M62 motorway is entering a new phase as Highways England installs a new concrete safety barrier using 7,000 tonnes of concrete.
A new safety barrier in the central reservation would reduce the risk of vehicles crossing onto the opposite carriageway in collisions, Highways England said.
Work to convert the hard shoulder on a five-mile stretch of the M62 near Rochdale to a standard motorway lane has now been completed.
Work to convert the hard shoulder to a running lane
Highways England said the strengthening of the barrier was part of the ‘smart motorway’ scheme, although a spokesman added that it upgrades central reservation barriers with concrete across the network.
He said: 'It’s standard for smart motorway schemes as it improves safety, reduces the need for lane closures in the future for maintenance, and saves us coming back at a later date.'
Highways England said that the completed 'smart motorway’ scheme will increase capacity on this section of the motorway by a third, ‘making journeys quicker and more reliable’.
Stephen Hill, senior project manager at Highways England, said the completion of the hard shoulder work was ‘a major milestone for the project’.
Work on gantries is taking place overnight
Work is also continuing throughout the 17-mile scheme, which runs from junction 8 of the M60 at Sale to junction 20 of the M62 at Rochdale, to upgrade 56 overhead gantries so that they can be fitted with new electronic signs.
Overnight closures between several junctions are being used so that contractors can carry out this work on longer stretches of the route. A maximum of six miles of the motorway will be closed each night.
The Manchester smart motorway is due to go live in sections starting in September, with all of the roadworks planned to be lifted by the end of the year.
Separately Highways England has appointed a Mott MacDonald Sweco joint venture to develop the design elements of two sections of smart motorway between junctions 4-11 of the M27 and junctions 9-14 of the M3, in the south England.