Express & Star

M6 Junction 10 reopens after weekend closure causes long delays

A stretch of the M6 reopened after being closed for the entire weekend to allow huge steel bridge beams to be installed as part of a revamp of a busy roundabout.

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The closure caused traffic chaos. Photo: PTaerialphotography

The work finally took place at M6 Junction 10 for Walsall after previously being postponed twice at short notice.

The junction was closed from Friday night until Monday morning, causing long delays. Highways England teams said the work was completed three hours ahead of schedule.

The work marks a significant step in the £78 million transformation of junction 10, which will replace the 50-year-old bridges currently in place across the motorway and double the number of lanes around the bottleneck junction from two to four.

An army of around 50 workers was needed as the beams, weighing 90 to 120 tonnes each, were hoisted into place by a tower crane on the north bridge this weekend.

Motorists had been urged to avoid the junction as the diversion in place up and over the notoriously congested roundabout, as expected, led to tailbacks.

Highways England Project Manager Annie Hyett said: “This was a complex piece of work involving large, specialist equipment and careful traffic management, and thanks to a huge team effort, involving our local authority partners and contractors, we were able to finish ahead of schedule.

“It is a busy junction, we anticipated there would be some congestion over the weekend, and we are grateful to all those who took our advice in finding alternative routes and appreciate the patience and understanding of those whose journeys were delayed because of this important work.

“We do appreciate how frustrating road closures can be but this improvement scheme is much needed and once complete will tackle the severe congestion this area has endured for some time.”

Work to infill the bridge will be carried out overnight over the next five weeks, with closures in place from 10pm to 6am to minimise disruption.

The beams for the south bridge will be lifted into place later in the summer and will also require another junction closure.

The work was put off for a second time last month as a 750-tonne crane needed for the work was unavailable. Highways England bosses apologised for "confusion" over the postponement of the closure, which had been widely advertised.