Express & Star

Next dates for M6 Junction 10 closure confirmed as bridge works continue

A stretch of the M6 will be closed again for a whole weekend as a second four-lane bridge is constructed as part of a £78 million scheme to cut congestion.

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The work is part of a £78m project. Photo by PTaerialphotography

Fifty-year old bridges currently in place at Junction 10, between Wolverhampton and Walsall, are being replaced by new wider structures to carry more traffic over the motorway.

Work has already been carried out on the north bridge which involved installing 44m-long steel beams across the M6, each weighing between 90 and 120 tonnes, which involved closing the busy junction for a whole weekend.

Works will now be carried out to drop the bridge beams in place for the south bridge over the weekend of September 24-27. The junction will be closed again from 8pm on Friday until 6am on Monday.

Traffic using the motorway will follow an ‘up and over’ diversion at Junction 10 which will leave the motorway at the junction, travel over the roundabout and then re-join the M6 on the other side.

Major delays are expected, as there were last time, and drivers are urged to avoid the area during that weekend.

Beams for one bridge have been installed. Photo by PTaerialphotography

The major scheme will aim to reduce congestion at the notorious bottleneck. Traffic regularly backs up at peak times either side of the junction on the Black Country Route and Wolverhampton Road.

National Highways project manager, Annie Hyett, said: “This complex work involves around 50 workers and the use of very large, specialist equipment. It is a major project but all went to plan on the north bridge finishing several hours ahead of schedule and we hope the same will happen with the south bridge.

“For the safety of all involved it is vital that we close the motorway but do appreciate it is a busy junction and there will be some congestion over the weekend.

“We would remind drivers to avoid the area if possible or plan ahead and find alternative routes if they can. If not they should allow extra time for journeys and make sure they have provisions such as water with them.”

Traffic was diverted up and over the junction during the last closure

National Highways, formerly Highways England, and Walsall Council, supported by the Black Country Local Enterprise Partnership, have joined forces to fund the upgrade. Contractor John Sisk & Son is carrying out the work.

Following the installation of the beams, work will continue to build the new bridge. To maintain a safe working environment for workforce and motorists, a mixture of overnight and daytime closures will be used to complete the work.

From Monday September 27 the bridges' deck panels will start to be installed, leading to the closure the M6 between the exit and entry slip roads at Junction 10, between 8pm and 6am, every week night (Monday to Friday) until October 20.

The huge beams mean the motorway has to be closed while they're lifted into place

In addition to this it;s planned to close the motorway from 8pm on Saturday October 9 until 6am on Monday October 11 so over over half of the bridge deck panels can be lifted into place over the beams.

The ‘up and over’ diversion will be in place for all upcoming road closures.

The old bridges will be demolished later in the scheme.

For live traffic updates follow the @HighwaysWMIDS Twitter feed. The National Highways 24/7 customer contact centre team can also provide up-to-the minute information on 0300 123 5000.