Tuesday, January 31, 2017

News: Smart Motorway work continues

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A series of closures will take place this week as work continues as part of a major smart motorway project to tackle congestion and improve journey times through Rotherham.

Highways England has been working on the £106m scheme on a ten mile stretch of the M1 between junctions 32 (south of Sheffield and Rotherham) and 35a (north of Sheffield and Rotherham). A 20 mile stretch of the M1 between junction 28 (South Normanton) and 31 (Aston) is also benefiting from a smart motorway project costing £205m where four lane running began in April.

The projects include converting the hard shoulder to an extra traffic lane in both directions and variable mandatory speed limits and they deliver benefits at a significantly lower cost than conventional motorway widening, and with less impact on the environment during construction.

The hard shoulder between junction 32 and 34 is currently closed and there will be narrow lanes and a 50mph speed limit in place until the project is completed in March 2017.

Drivers are being warned of a series of closures to allow resurfacing, gantry, barrier and other safety work to be carried out.

As contractors, Costain get to work this week, various parts of the carriageway and slip roads will be closed. Details can be found here.

The closures will take place between 8pm and 6am, and drivers will be able to follow clearly signed diversion routes.

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Arun Sahni, project manager at Highways England, said: "This work will provide drivers with smoother and safer journeys between these two junctions.

"This work will be carried out overnight when traffic levels are at their lowest to keep disruption to a minimum. We are also utilising the closures to carry out other work at the same time to reduce the number of closures and impact on the public."

Environmental assessments carried out on the managed motorway schemes through the Sheffield city region showed there was likely to be an adverse impact on local air quality if the motorway continued to operate at the national speed limit (70mph).

A proposed maximum mandatory 60mph speed limit was discounted by the Government and the latest option could see 60mph speed limits at weekday peak times between junctions 28 and 35a - between 07:00-09:00 in the morning and 15:00-18:00 in the evening.

Highways England is expected to announce any measures to improve air quality when the scheme opens.

Highways England website

Images: Highways England


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