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Manchester gantries upgraded for 'smart motorway' scheme

Gantry 1

Work has started on a gantry upgrade for the M60 and M62.

Electronic signs will be fitted on 56 gantries along the 27.3km motorway route between junction 8 on the M60 and junction 20 on the M62. 

Overnight closures will take place on the motorway sections for 11 months to allow the installation. 

Highways England started work on the sections in July 2014, with the full upgrade to “smart motorway” scheduled for completion in September 2017. The project’s total cost is £208.3M.

The gantries are 59m wide, weigh up to 78t and require a 500t crane for positioning. 

Walker Signs, Total Steel, VMSL, and Motorway Communications are the subcontractors on the project.

Cranes, scissor lifts and cherry pickers will be used to remove existing signs and add new support structures, cables and electronic signs. 

Highways England project manager Stef Wilson said: “Over 180,000 drivers travel along this stretch of the M60 and M62 every day, making it one of the busiest routes in the country. The new smart motorway will use variable speed limits to help tackle the stop-start conditions many of us have experienced in the past and an extra lane will be created on a five-mile stretch of the M62.”

On completion, over 350 electronic signs will inform drivers about changes to the speed limit, lane closures and accidents.

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