Express & Star

Bosses hope to finally have M6 Junction 10 roundabout fully open this summer

Works on the M6 Junction 10 roundabout have entered the final stages and the road is due to fully open this summer, according to National Highways.

M6 Junction 10 update. Photo: National Highways

Bosses overseeing the £78 million project, which has involved replacing the bridges on the roundabout over the motorway with structures that can carry four lanes of traffic instead of two, hope to have the roundabout open this summer, after identifying that additional work was required to the existing infrastructure.

The overhaul of the M6 Junction 10 for Walsall started in 2020 and had been due for completion last year, before it was pushed back.

There have been a number of external factors blamed for the delay to the major project, including Covid-19, staff and material shortages, a sub-contractor going bust during the project, and now work required to maintain and repair parts of the existing infrastructure.

The unplanned additional work is said to include repairs to street light cabling and the drainage system.

A list of works carried out since February this year is as follows:

  • Completed installation of the new road surface, lane markings and high friction surfacing on the roundabout and the majority of this work at Bloxwich Junction

  • Installed drainage ponds

  • Installed cabling for traffic signals and motorway technology

  • Begun landscaping, adding topsoil, planting and seeding

  • Begun installing pedestrian guardrail and paving at the new crossing facilities

  • Installed safety barriers and commenced installation of boundary fencing

  • Relocated water and telecommunications utility services

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

National Highways programme leader, Ashfaq Hussain, said: “We have reached the final stages of work to open up two additional lanes on the roundabout and provide the much-needed extra capacity which will ease traffic at this bottle-neck junction.

“However, we have identified some additional work required to repair and maintain the existing infrastructure which we are carrying out now to avoid the need to return at a later date causing further disruption.

“We appreciate this will delay the completion of the scheme. Any roadworks inevitably cause disruption and particularly a complex upgrade of this scale. We are grateful to people for their patience and are striving to finish this important work as quickly as we can.”

The roundabout is set to be fully opened this summer, and then bosses said they will be able to update their programme for the remainder of the scheme.