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Work on busy motorway is completed ahead of schedule and under budget
A traffic-busting scheme on one of the country’s busiest stretches of motorway has been finished ahead of schedule and under budget.
The Highways Agency has now lifted the last of its temporary 50mph limits on the M62, marking the end of its two-year project to install a managed motorway.
It says road users in West Yorkshire are now benefiting from safer, more reliable and less-congested journeys.
The work to open up the hard shoulder along 15.5 miles of the M62, between junctions 25 at Brighouse and junction 30 at Rothwell, was due to finish by the end of next month.
But the Highways Agency and contractor bmJV have been able to complete the work more than a month early.
Since work started on the £150 million scheme, the Agency has also been able to save about £17 million, so the final cost is expected to be about £133 million.
Roads Minister Stephen Hammond welcomed the news.
He said: “I am delighted that road users in West Yorkshire and beyond are able to benefit from the improvements earlier than planned, and at a lower cost to the taxpayer than originally forecast.
“This is the first motorway of its kind in the North of England, and reducing congestion on this key route will deliver significant economic benefits.”
Project manager David Pilsworth said the managed motorway brought a “smart and efficient solution” to the problem of congestion.
He said: “With 144,000 vehicles using this stretch every day, we had the challenge of ensuring that we kept traffic moving while making sure the construction timetable was met. This makes it all the more remarkable that our contractors have been able to finish earlier than planned.”
Thomas Crompton, boss of a Bradford tipper firm which bears his name, who had complained that his drivers were being hampered by serious traffic jams on the M62 before and during the project, said things had improved recently.
He said: “It does seem to be better, yes. We haven’t had any particular problems on the motorway for a couple of months.”
The project involved more than 2,500 workers who clocked up a total of 1.9 million man-hours between them.
Work included installing 36 new gantries and refurbishing 16 existing gantries, connecting 378 electronic signs and 322 hard shoulder monitoring cameras, laying 50 miles of fibre optic cabling and constructing 23 emergency refuge areas.
The M62 scheme was also the first in the country to use remote-controlled signs to prevent workers from having to cross over the carriageway when it was in use. This approach saved more than 45,000 motorway crossings and scooped contractors bmJV a national health and safety award.
How it works
- The M62 managed motorway aims to use technology to reduce congestion and ease the flow of traffic.
- During busy periods, operators in a regional control centre in Wakefield set overhead signs to tell drivers they can use the hard shoulder as an extra lane.
- When the sign above the hard shoulder is blank or shows a red cross, it is illegal to use it unless in an emergency.
- The operators can also change the speed limit to help the traffic react to changing road conditions.
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