Highways England has entered into a joint venture with Walsall Council to provide a £78M upgrade to junction ten of the M6 as a way of easing congestion and speeding up journeys for thousands of drivers, with preparation work scheduled to commence by autumn.
The scheme has been supported by the Black Country Local Enterprise Partnership and will replace the bridges which run over the motorway, will increase capacity at the traffic bottleneck, and will improve safety, with construction schedule to commence in January 2020 while completion will not be achieved until the summer of 2022.
Contractor, John Sisk and Son has been appointed to design and construct the new junction which will also make the existing junction larger in order to reduce delays for road users, while also facilitating growth at the Black Country Enterprise Zone in Darlaston.
The Managing Director of UK Civils at John Sisk & Son, Paul Brown stated: “Sisk is delighted to be awarded this major highway scheme. The project provides us with an opportunity to further enhance our reputation and continue our excellent relationship with Highways England, following the recent successful completion of the A19 works in the North East.
“We are committed to delivering the project in line with Highways England’s key imperatives and to maximising social value to benefit Walsall Council.”
The existing junction is more than 50 years old, meaning that replacement of the existing bridges will avoid an extensive maintenance project, and, after a public inquiry in April, the Secretary of State confirmed orders to acquire the necessary land for the scheme.
This will only include a small area on a permanent basis, however, as the project uses existing highway land wherever possible.
Black Country Local Enterprise Partnership Chair, Stewart Towe CBE DL added: “News that this necessary upgrade is progressing is excellent. The M6 junction 10 often experiences significant congestion and delays which impacts thousands of motorists.
“The benefits from these alterations will certainly help the region meet economic development objectives and greatly improve accessibility to the area, especially given the proximity of the Black Country LEP funded Enterprise Zones at Phoenix 10, Walsall and i54, Wolverhampton.”
The substantial congestion and delays experienced in the region are one of the main issues highlighted in the West Midlands Strategic Transport Plan.
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