New M6 Junction 10 in Walsall to create thousands of jobs
A new Junction 10 of the M6 could unlock up to 4,206 new jobs by tackling congestion in the region.
The claim has been made as a planning application for the replacement junction goes out for consultation.
Highways England and Walsall Council are behind the £64million scheme.
It will see the existing roundabout bridges over the M6 demolished with two new curved four-lane bridges put up to replace them.
It will also see the widening of the crossroads junction on the Black Country Route, the A454, at the turn off for Tempus Drive and Bloxwich Lane.
Under a planning statement submitted as part of the planning application to Walsall Council's planning department, agents Mott Macdonald said the scheme was a 'transport priority' for local economic plans.
It said: "The Strategic Economic Plan proposes that there are 10 key employment sites within a 10-minute drive time of the junction which have the potential to unlock 4,206 new jobs as well as 2,585 new homes.
"The implications of the project not proceeding is that congestion and journey time reliability will be negatively impacted and both jobs and housing development will be located elsewhere, having an overall negative effect on the economic success of the Black Country."
Around 8,000 vehicles pass through the junction every hour during peak periods.
The new design will increase its capacity to 10,500 vehicles per hour.
As well as the junction widening, improvements would be made to the junction slip roads, modifications to adjacent local roads and the installation of new intelligent traffic signals.
Councillor Lee Jeavons, deputy leader and portfolio holder for Transport and Regeneration at Walsall Council, said: "The busy route between Walsall and Wolverhampton is often heavily congested which has an impact on local residents and businesses, while reducing the attractiveness of the local area for investment.
"The new chosen design is seen as the most effective at reducing congestion, offering the best value for money and will improve safety for all road users.
"Changes to the roundabout will not only reduce travel time for motorists, but will also be more accessible for cyclists and pedestrians.
“Improving the road network in the region will support the Darlaston area of the Black Country Enterprise Zone, which totals around 45 hectares of land.
"Inevitably, we hope to encourage more businesses to stay and hopefully, invest in the region.”
Highways England project manager, David Reed said: “This major upgrade of M6 Junction 10 will deliver more reliable journey times and improve safety, while removing the need for extensive ongoing maintenance and the inconvenience that causes.
“Improved traffic flows will in turn benefit businesses and encourage development opportunities, providing a significant boost to the Midlands economy.”
The project is being jointly funded by Highways England and Walsall Council via the Black Country Local Enterprise Partnership.
If planning consent is successful, construction is due to start in late 2018.