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WALSALL: M6 motorway project on schedule

WALSALL: M6 motorway project on schedule

An artist\'s impression of how the remodelled M6 Junction 10 will look like following £78 million project.

A major £78 million project to remodel a busy motorway junction in Walsall is on track to finish on time – but motorists are warned more closures are on the way.

Highways bosses said the two-way programme to transform Junction 10 of the M6 Motorway was on track to be completed before the Commonwealth Games next summer.

The work, which started in August 2020, will see the replacement of existing 50-year-old bridges across the motorway, with the number of lanes doubled from two to four.

At an economy and environment scrutiny meeting on Thursday (November 18), Councillor Pard Kaur asked if work was on schedule and whether any further closures will be needed.

In September this year, long delays were caused when traffic had to be diverted from the junction which was closed to allow for beams for the new bridge structures to be put in place.

Matt Crowton, Walsall Council transportation major projects and strategy manager, confirmed two further closures will be required in May 2022.

He said: “We are on schedule. The project was always due to complete before the Commonwealth Games next summer and that’s what the programme currently shows.

“Obviously, with any large construction project, there will be challenges along the way. The scale of works at M6 Junction 10 are quite significant but it is on programme.”

He added: “There will be two further closures to demolish the existing bridges across the junction. Those new bridges are much wider.

“At the moment there are two lanes but the new ones will have four. Those life-expired bridges have to be demolished towards the end of the programme.

“At the moment we are anticipating the demolition to take place in May 2022 under two separate closures. The exact dates haven’t been confirmed yet but that’s what the programme shows.”

Ahead of work starting on the project, which is co-funded by Walsall Council and National Highways, bosses said the bridges were at the end of their serviceable life.

They added they would have required increasing levels of maintenance and faced the possibility of putting weight limits on them if work wasn’t undertaken.

Benefits of the new scheme are said to include reducing congestion, increasing capacity for traffic and encouraging new business to the borough.

Words: Gurdip Thandi, Local Democracy Reporter

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