Express & Star

Major M6 roundabout works to be completed within weeks as part of £78 million upgrade

Construction is expected to be completed on a new roundabout at a major M6 junction in the Black Country as part of £78 million upgrade works.

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Demolition of the old south bridge on Junction 10 M6.

Revamp work is currently under way at Junction 10 at Walsall under a major programme designed to reduce congestion at the extremely busy route.

And now it has been announced construction on the roundabout – and some connecting roads – may be finished off within a few weeks, bosses say.

It comes after the major project, due to be finished by spring this year, was delayed until autumn this year due to delays in manufacturing new bridges.

National Highways project manager Rumbi Dzikiti said: "Work is continuing at pace on the M6 junction 10 improvements and we are currently carrying out extensive resurfacing around the roundabout and also some of the connecting roads.

"We anticipate completing construction on the roundabout and some of the connecting roads within the next few weeks, helping to tackle the traffic congestion at this busy junction."

Darlington-based Cleveland Bridge, due to manufacture the two new bridges, went into administration which led to delays alongside staff and material shortages caused by Covid-19.

The busy junction at Walsall is undergoing a transformation, with bridges demolished and new, wider ones installed, as well as extra lanes added, and the slip road both Northbound and Southbound widened. It all aims to help “tackle congestion endured at the junction for many years.”

But the works have meant disruption to drivers who have faced over two-and-a-half years of delays with the project manager adding the delays were due to "factors out of our control" and it would take longer than necessary.

Despite the sub-contractor problems both of the new two new bridges are now in use following the demolition of the 50-year-old bridges in May, with the new structures having four lanes instead of two.

Junction 10 of the M6 is one of the busiest road network junctions in the UK as motorway traffic heading north and south pass through each day, with connections onto the M5 and M54 motorways nearby.

The project which started in January 2020 has suffered delays largely due to the Covid-19 pandemic according to National Highways, but with completion in autumn drawing near, the end is near for the huge transformation which has been supported by Walsall Council, and the Black Country Local Enterprise Partnership, with contractor John Sisk & Son carrying out the work on the £78 million project.

Congestion and and large queues are often a familiar site around the M6 Junction 10 and surrounding roads, including the Black Country Route leading to the junction which has been widened.

National Highways says the work will reduce congestion on motorway slip roads, the A454 Black Country Route/Wolverhampton Road and other roads linking to the junction, as well as cut down on 'rat-running' traffic on other routes.