Here's the latest news from the M6 J16-19 smart motorway project:
As of today (Friday 18 January), motorists are able to use all 4 new lanes between junction 18 (Holmes Chapel) and junction 19 (Knutsford) northbound. Overnight tonight, we will be repeating this for the southbound stretch between these two junctions in time for Saturday morning.
New overhead electronic signs have been switched on to provide drivers with live information about their journeys, including changes in the speed limit, lane closures and incidents ahead.
The 60mph speed limit between junctions 18 and 19, increased from 50mph ahead of the Christmas break, will remain in place for the next few weeks while contractors complete testing of new technology, with the eight-mile stretch of motorway due to be fully operational as a smart motorway by early February.
The entire 18-mile upgrade is on schedule to be finished by the end of March, improving journeys for the 120,000 drivers who use the M6 every day.
A temporary 50mph speed limit will remain in place between junctions 16 and 18 until the construction and technology work is completed and the whole project opens to traffic at the end of March.
What is left to complete?
The remaining work includes fitting electronic signs to overhead gantries, commissioning the new technology along the route and some landscaping work to the motorway verge.
What will happen when the smart motorway is complete?
When the smart motorway is complete, traffic sensors will automatically monitor the flow of traffic and adjust the speed limit accordingly, tackling the stop/start conditions and tailbacks caused by sudden braking.
New CCTV cameras will provide 100% coverage of the route and allow Highways England’s traffic officers and the emergency services to respond quickly to incidents.
More details on the scheme are available at www.highwaysengland.co.uk/m6j16to19 | ( please note: there may be a slight delay in the website updating)