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Last superspan gantry to go up on Manchester smart motorway project

A photograph of the Manchester smart motorways project

The next and last of nine superspan gantries required to help operate a smart motorway along sections of the M60 and M62 in Greater Manchester will be erected at the weekend.

This weekend’s work will be taking place along the M60 near the junction 12 interchange with the M62 and M602 at Eccles. The work will be done overnight from 10pm on Saturday night and 6am on Sunday morning (6 and 7 August) when both the anti-clockwise and clockwise carriageways of the motorway will be closed between junction 13 at Worsley and junction 12 at Eccles interchange with clearly-signed diversions in place.

The gantry is one of nine spanning both the eastbound and westbound carriageways of the motorway. They are each up to 59 metres wide, weigh up to 78 tonnes and will require a special 500 tonne crane to help install them as well as full overnight motorway closures in both directions.

The smart motorway scheme, between junction 8 of the M60 near Sale and junction 20 of the M62, will see the latest technology being used to monitor traffic levels and keep vehicles moving by using variable speed limits.

Highways England project manager Stef Wilson said:

“These are huge structures so they require full closures of the motorway while we erect them.

“We are doing everything we can to keep disruption to a minimum, but we ask drivers to be patient and plan their journeys while this intensive phase of work is underway.”

When the smart motorway scheme is completed in autumn 2017, around 200 new electronic message signs on overhead gantries will warn drivers of changes in the mandatory speed limit, lane closures and incidents ahead.
In addition to the overnight closures for the gantries, there is a programme of night closures for maintenance work, and for the installation of supporting pillars for roadside electronic signs.

Drivers can find details of the closures, and stay up to date with the latest developments, by visiting www.highways.gov.uk/roads/road-projects/m60-junction-8-to-m62-junction-20

The closure could be postponed if strong winds are forecast.