Main construction starts later this month on a major scheme to improve journeys for drivers using the M6 in Cheshire.
Highways England is upgrading a 20-mile stretch of the route between junctions 16 near Crewe and 19 near Knutsford to a smart motorway.
Work will start on February 26 on the first section of the scheme – an eight-mile stretch between Knutsford and Middlewich near junction 18. Work will continue in similar phases to minimise disruption.
Narrow lanes and a temporary 50mph speed limit will be installed. Some lane closures will be in place while these are installed but once in place, the narrow lanes will allow three lanes to be kept open in each direction.
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In addition to smart motorway work, crews will also undertake maintenance work on bridges and structures along the route.
Smart motorways improve journeys by monitoring traffic flow and setting speed limits accordingly to keep traffic moving smoothly. The hard shoulder will be converted to a traffic lane to create the much needed extra capacity. Information about road conditions and speed limits will be displayed to drivers on electronic road signs.
Highways England project manager Kate Beirne said: “This scheme will bring real benefits to drivers travelling in Cheshire and to the wider economy – it will ease congestion and help keep traffic moving, making journeys more reliable.
“We have carefully planned the work to minimise disruption and to ensure that as far as possible we can keep three lanes open to traffic while we carry out the work.”