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Kier Highways achieves key project milestone on M6 smart motorways project

Kier Highways has achieved a key project milestone installing three large cantilever gantries over a nine-night period while the motorway network remained open to customers.

Three gantries weighing 24 tonnes and 18m in width now span the carriageway on the M6 between J14 (Stafford) and J15 (Stoke) and were installed with a contraflow in operation. This meant that one lane of traffic was able to stay on the main motorway carriage travelling north on the southbound side. Traffic on the southbound side ran in three narrow lanes. Customers were able to continue travelling on their preferred route instead of being diverted along sensitive diversion routes around Stafford. A team of 57 people worked each of the nine nights to install the gantries along with six smaller MS4 gantries and 28 lighting columns.

The M6 J13-15 smart motorway project is the first of its kind to operate under a full contraflow for the length of the works and its implementation is continuously increasing customer satisfaction through the roadworks.

Richard French, project director at Kier Highways recognises the work that all teams have put into this significant piece of work. He said: “We are coming to the end of a section of work on the northbound M6 and this critical activity makes the end date significantly closer. All teams have planned their activities meticulously and collaboratively, so that the result is completion to plan and on programme. There is a large amount of personnel involved and I would like to thank everyone for their solid performance during this complex activity.”

The scheme which started in 2017 is scheduled to finish by 2022. As work progresses to the opposite carriageway, the contraflow operation will switch in the New Year.