M3 junctions 2-4a: smart motorwayRecently updated

We are currently making improvements to the M3 by constructing a smart motorway between junctions 2 and 4a. This section of the M3 is used over 130,000 vehicles a day and sees higher than normal levels of congestion at peak times.

Region:  South East
Start date:  18 February 2015
Cost:  £174 million
Type:  Major Scheme
End date:  June 2017
Programme:  Smart Motorways

What impact will this have on my journey?

For real time updates on closures, roadworks and traffic levels on England’s motorway and major roads network visit:

Traffic England

M3 junctions 2-4a: smart motorway

We propose to improve the M3 by making it a smart motorway between junctions 2 and 4.

Progress report

Full-depth resurfacing works at junction 2 southbound slip road

Significant resurfacing work is required to the M3 slip road at junction 2 southbound from the M25 to improve the condition of the carriageway.

To carry out this work we will be closing the M3 junction 2 southbound slip road from the M25 clockwise and the link road from the M25 junction 12 clockwise to the M3 northbound from 9pm on Friday the 20 January 2017 until 5.30am on Monday 23 January 2017.

We advise drivers to plan ahead, consider alternative routes if possible, or allow extra time for their journey. This closure is weather dependant and subject to successful safety checks.

You can view diversion routes in place for these closures.

Our customers will benefit from both the improvements made to the condition of the carriageway and new low noise surfacing.

This is all part of the continuing additional maintenance work on the M3 following the safe demolition of the Woodlands Bridge in November last year.

You can view images of the demolition on our gallery.

What's next

We will:
  • carry out earthworks on the verges area so that construction can begin
  • excavate and install new drainage
  • construct platforms for the new gantries
  • install new electrical cabinets
  • begin work on the emergency refuge areas
  • construct retaining walls
  • remove vegetation and surfacing

Community news

The M3 project is a member of the Community Matters Partnership Project. The project recently achieved a score of 43 out of 50 for our first Considerate Constructors Audit. Some residents who live close to the project route have raised concerns about possible noise and visual intrusion from the works. We take your concerns very seriously and we have made sure we consider these in the project's ongoing development and design. To build the scheme with as little negative impact as possible we will:
  • maintain 3 lanes of traffic on both carriageways
  • use a 50mph speed limit
  • provide a free recovery service for those in need through the works
  • limit full closures to a minimum and manage when full closures take place to avoid conflicting with local events
In order to help keep traffic moving through the works, we employ a 24/7 CCTV system with 100% coverage throughout the scheme in order to pick up any incidents, accidents or vehicular breakdowns. All vehicles are recovered free of charge and as quickly as possible by our dedicated on-site vehicle recovery service. Drivers and their passengers are taken to our customer care centre where they can wait in a safe, comfortable environment, while making arrangements for their onward journey.

Community relations

Some of the things we have been doing in the community:
  • 6 of our managers assisted with mock interviews at Wavell School in March 2015
  • gave “Raising Aspirations” talks to students studying trades at Farnborough College of Technology, 6 and 13 May 2015
  • held workshops with 100 students during Robert Mays Science Fair on 29 April, 30 - activities included bridge building out of paper and sticky tape
  • gave “This is Civil Engineering” talks to students at Farnborough Sixth Form College in November 2014 and June 2015
  • attended Careers Day at Fernhill School, 29 June 2015
  • held a mini exhibition at Fluor (a Community Matters Project partner) for their 1,200 local employees, 12 May 2015
  • members of the project team took part in a six-a-side football league organised by Farnborough Business Park (a Community Matters Project partner), raising funds for a Community Matters charity work

Business news

The M3 junctions 2 to 4a project has been awarded National Skills Academy status, supported by Highways England and managed by the Construction Industry Training Board. Objectives of the National Skills Academy:
  • upskilling of workforce including the supply chain
  • working with local organisations to provide work opportunities for local people
  • providing work experience, placements and traineeships to encourage young people into the industry
What we have done so far:
    • created 23 jobs
    • facilitated 21 sub-contractors to start NVQ
    • given 12 students of 14-19 yrs old work experience placements
    • offered a trainee role with the Health, Safety & Environment Team to one of those who came in on a work experience placement
    • helped one of our cleaners gain a role with us as a 24/7 CCTV operator
    • taken on two young trainee lab technicians – one male, one female
    • set up a Special Needs placement programme: 2 young people came along to the project once a week for 3 hours
    • Advanced Health & Safety Accreditations: 68
We have 15 sub-contractors continuously collaborating on all training.

Environment impact

Our Environment Team works with a full-time ecologist on this project. We work together to protect wildlife located within the works area. Wildlife that has been found on site alongside the M3 junctions 2 to 4a smart motorway project and successfully relocated or removed is as follows:
  • slow worms (translocated to Chobham Common)
  • smooth newts (relocated to Hawley Meadows)
  • grass snakes (moved to safe/suitable location behind environmental barrier)
  • badgers - badger sett closed off using one way badger gates
We have gained approval from Surrey Wildlife Trust and Natural England to carry out small amounts of work within Chobham Common. We have carefully planned to make sure there are no negative impacts on the common due to construction works, without delaying our construction programme. The Site of Special Scientific Interest status of the common extends onto the motorway verge. Following works on these verges, Surrey Wildlife Trust will supply seeds from the common to add to the grass seed mix we will use for the verge. This will replenish the verge and maintain these important habitats. Our contractor Balfour Beatty has:
  • established between our contractor Balfour Beatty and the Senior Ranger of Surrey Wildlife Trust
  • carried out water monitoring on the common to demonstrate to Surrey Wildlife Trust that the water quality has not been reduced due to pollution from the motorway works
  • surveyed bird nesting sites before and during construction to show that the works were having no ill effects on protected nesting birds: woodlark, Dartford warbler and nightjar
We have produced some formal reports on environmental impact. You can find these under Publications.

The project team

  • Highways England
  • Balfour Beatty
Our contractor, tasked with delivering this project in accordance with our requirements
  • URS
  • Design engineer and our agent on-site

Project media files

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Project timeline

Planned roadworks

Roadworks and Events for England

The latest incident information for England's motorway and trunk routes provided by Highways England

Period : expect disruption until 06:00 on 25 November 2017. Location : The M4 eastbound between junctions J11 and J10 . Status : Currently Active. Lane Closures : The hard shoulder is closed. Reason : Roadworks.
Posted: February 21, 2017, 5:47 pm
Status : Pending. Lane Closures : Lanes 1 and 2 will be closed. Schedule : Expect disruption everyday between 20:00 and 05:30 from 27 February 2017 to 3 March 2017. Location : The M3 eastbound entry slip at junction J4 . Lanes Closed : All lanes will be closed. Reason : Road repairs are planned.
Posted: February 21, 2017, 5:10 pm
Location : The M4 westbound between junctions J11 and J12 . Status : Pending. Schedule : From 11:00 on 9 March 2017 to 17:00 on 9 March 2017. Reason : Roadworks are planned.
Posted: February 21, 2017, 5:10 pm
Status : Pending. Lane Closures : Lane one will be closed. Schedule : Expect disruption everyday between 20:00 and 05:30 from 27 February 2017 to 3 March 2017. Location : The M3 eastbound entry slip at junction J4A . Lanes Closed : All lanes will be closed. Reason : Road repairs are planned.
Posted: February 21, 2017, 5:10 pm
Status : Pending. Lane Closures : Lanes 1, 2 and 3 will be closed. Schedule : Expect disruption everyday between 20:00 and 05:30 from 27 February 2017 to 3 March 2017. Location : The M3 eastbound between junctions J4A and J2 . Lanes Closed : All lanes will be closed. Reason : Road repairs are planned.
Posted: February 21, 2017, 5:10 pm
Period : expect disruption until 16:00 on 8 March 2017. Location : The M3 eastbound between junctions J6 and J5 . Status : Currently Active. Lane Closures : The hard shoulder is closed. Reason : Roadworks.
Posted: February 21, 2017, 5:10 pm
Status : Pending. Lane Closures : Lane one will be closed. Schedule : From 20:00 on 21 February 2017 to 06:00 on 22 February 2017. Location : The M3 eastbound exit slip at junction J4A . Lanes Closed : All lanes will be closed. Reason : Road repairs are planned.
Posted: February 21, 2017, 5:10 pm
Location : The M4 westbound between junctions J10 and J11 . Status : Pending. Schedule : From 06:00 on 23 February 2017 to 06:00 on 18 March 2017. Reason : Roadworks are planned.
Posted: February 21, 2017, 5:10 pm
Status : Pending. Lane Closures : Lanes 1 and 2 will be closed. Schedule : Expect disruption everyday between 21:00 and 06:00 from 20 March 2017 to 25 March 2017. Location : The M3 westbound exit slip at junction J6 . Lanes Closed : All lanes will be closed. Reason : Roadside equipment maintenance is planned.
Posted: February 21, 2017, 5:10 pm
Status : Pending. Lane Closures : Lanes 1 and 2 will be closed. Schedule : Expect disruption everyday between 22:00 and 06:00 from 20 March 2017 to 25 March 2017. Location : The M3 eastbound exit slip at junction J6 . Lanes Closed : All lanes will be closed. Reason : Roadside equipment maintenance is planned.
Posted: February 21, 2017, 5:10 pm
Status : Pending. Lane Closures : Lanes 2 and 3 will be closed. Schedule : From 20:00 on 21 February 2017 to 05:30 on 22 February 2017. Location : The M3 eastbound between junctions J4A and J4 . Lanes Closed : There will be two of three lanes closed. Reason : Road repairs are planned.
Posted: February 21, 2017, 5:10 pm
Status : Pending. Lane Closures : Lanes 1, 2 and 3 will be closed. Schedule : From 20:00 on 21 February 2017 to 05:30 on 22 February 2017. Location : The M3 eastbound between junctions J4 and J2 . Lanes Closed : All lanes will be closed. Reason : Road repairs are planned.
Posted: February 21, 2017, 5:10 pm
Status : Pending. Lane Closures : Lane one will be closed. Schedule : From 20:00 on 21 February 2017 to 06:00 on 22 February 2017. Location : The M3 eastbound between junctions J5 and J4A . Lanes Closed : There will be one of three lanes closed. Reason : Road repairs are planned.
Posted: February 21, 2017, 5:10 pm
Period : from 17:17 on 26 January 2017 to 06:00 on 1 July 2017. Location : The M3 eastbound between junctions J5 and J2 . Status : Currently Active. Reason : Roadworks.
Posted: February 21, 2017, 5:10 pm
Status : Pending. Lane Closures : Lanes 2 and 3 will be closed. Schedule : Expect disruption everyday between 20:00 and 05:30 from 27 February 2017 to 3 March 2017. Location : The M3 eastbound between junctions J5 and J4A . Lanes Closed : There will be two of three lanes closed. Reason : Road repairs are planned.
Posted: February 21, 2017, 5:10 pm
Status : Pending. Lane Closures : Lane one will be closed. Schedule : From 22:00 on 27 February 2017 to 06:00 on 28 February 2017. Location : The M4 eastbound exit slip at junction J11 . Lanes Closed : There will be one of two lanes closed. Reason : Roadworks are planned.
Posted: February 21, 2017, 5:10 pm
Status : Pending. Lane Closures : Lanes 1 and 2 will be closed. Schedule : Expect disruption everyday between 20:00 and 05:30 from 27 February 2017 to 3 March 2017. Location : The M3 westbound entry slip at junction J4 . Lanes Closed : All lanes will be closed. Reason : Road repairs are planned.
Posted: February 21, 2017, 5:10 pm
Status : Pending. Lane Closures : Lane one will be closed. Schedule : Expect disruption everyday between 22:00 and 06:00 from 13 March 2017 to 18 March 2017. Location : The M4 westbound between junctions J10 and J11 . Lanes Closed : There will be one of three lanes closed. Reason : Roadworks are planned.
Posted: February 21, 2017, 5:10 pm
Status : Pending. Lane Closures : Lanes 1 and 2 will be closed. Schedule : From 20:00 on 21 February 2017 to 05:30 on 22 February 2017. Location : The M3 eastbound entry slip at junction J4 . Lanes Closed : All lanes will be closed. Reason : Road repairs are planned.
Posted: February 21, 2017, 5:10 pm

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