Over the last few weeks our engineers have been removing the concrete which needs replacing using hydro-demolition techniques. Hydro-demolition uses high pressure water to remove the deteriorated concrete. We have now also started replacing the areas removed. We have continued with the scaffolding and encapsulation work under the carriageway. We have also listened to concerns about the traffic management in place at M5 junction 4a and M6 junction, and put in place more signage, increased safety measures and the use of rapid assistance motorcycles carrying emergency fuel throughout the works.
We regularly review network performance, resilience and recovery. Following feedback received, we commissioned our area manager, Kier Strategic Highways, to undertake a traffic study of the traffic management performance across the strategic and local authority road networks. The scope of the study was to compare how the traffic is behaving in reality after the start of works compared to what we predicted with our traffic model before work started.
The traffic study shows that overall our measures to manage traffic, including the restriction at M5 junction 4a and M6 junction 8, are working safely and successfully by encouraging drivers to avoid approaching Birmingham and beyond via the northbound M5. The volume of traffic on the M5 around junction 1 and 2 has reduced as expected with more traffic using the M42.
The measures in place are playing an overall part in reducing traffic numbers on the M5. If the restrictions at M5 junction 4a and M6 junction 8 were not in place, disruption would be worse than it is now, affecting the M5 corridor, as well as local roads, towns and villages. As such this traffic management will be in place until autumn 2018.
We will continue to remove and repair the deteriorated concrete on the southbound carriageway. We aim to have the southbound carriageway works completed in spring 2018; we will then carry out the same work on the northbound carriageway.
|January 2017||Enabling work started|
|March 2017||Public Information Events held|
|April 2017||3 narrow lanes installed between junctions 1 and 2 with 40mph speed limit on the viaduct|
|August 2017||Contraflow system installed and start of concrete repair works|
|Autumn 2018||Target completion date for main work and removal of contraflow system taking the carriageway back to 3 narrow lanes|
Come and see us
We are holding 2 drop-in sessions where representatives from both the Oldbury and M5 junction 6 project teams will be available to answer any questions you may have about the schemes.
|14 December 2017||1pm to 8pm||Worcester Warriors, Sixways Stadium, Warriors Way, Worcester, WR3 8ZE|
|18 December 2017||1pm to 8pm||Chateau Impney Hotel & Exhibition Centre, Droitwich Spa, Worcestershire, WR9 0BN|
Why we need this scheme
The M5 is one of the busiest routes in the country, carrying a mix of traffic through the Midlands and onwards to routes in the north and south. This section of the M5 motorway is particularly busy, and is a commuter hub with traffic joining with the M6 and then other roads into and out of the Birmingham hub, and other cities in the region.
Oldbury viaduct carries approximately 1.8 miles (3km) of the elevated sections of the M5 to the west of Birmingham between junctions 1 and 2. The structure is safe, but we need to carry out essential repair work to the waterproofing on this section to ensure that drivers continue to have safe and reliable journeys. This is the largest concrete repair project ever undertaken in the UK.
We are also carrying out similar repair work at M6 junction 6.
This work is part of a major government investment to build a modern and resilient road network. By maintaining this key corridor we are delivering a huge investment that will support economic growth locally and in the wider West Midlands.
Please be aware that the roadworks will cause disruption to the M5 and the local area. We will do everything possible to plan and manage our roadworks to keep traffic moving. We recommend that where possible you:
- plan ahead
- allow extra time for your journeys
- consider using alternative routes
- change modes of transport
- car share
- work from home
View information on local public transport alternatives.
View information on other work in the Birmingham area.
View information on the M6 Toll
The scheme in detail
Through the West Midlands, various parts of the M5 are on elevated sections, or viaducts, constructed from concrete in the late 1960‚Äôs. The Oldbury viaduct carries 120,000 vehicles a day through Sandwell. As the number of vehicles has increased, so has the amount of maintenance necessary to keep this road safe and open to traffic.
This scheme is the largest concrete repair project ever undertaken in the UK. In order to carry out concrete repair and joint replacement works safely, we will need to scaffold under most of the 1.8 miles long, 30 metres wide viaduct. All of our scaffolding will then be encapsulated in polythene to prevent the escape of water, dust and debris.
The local area around Oldbury has a number of small and large businesses, and varying leisure/shopping destinations, all relying on the road network. We have therefore limited the period we are on site to the absolute minimum and planned our programme so that it does not require closure of these roads. To further reduce resulting congestion on local roads we will be keeping the M5 open, along with junctions 1 and 2 entry slip roads as much as possible, with no daytime closures.
The work is complicated and needs a great deal of planning and safety considerations. To make sure the viaduct stays safe during the work and provide the greatest flexibility for repairs and programme, it is vital that one carriageway at a time is repaired.
To enable this, a contraflow system is now in place between M5 junctions 1 and 2 with all traffic now using the northbound carriageway with 2 narrow lanes operating in each direction and a 30mph speed restriction.
The M5 junction 1 to 2 Oldbury viaduct contraflow diagram
If you are travelling across the country between the north and south, we urge you to consider alternative routes on our network, such as the M42 and M6 or M6 Toll. This is to reduce the amount of traffic heading through the roadworks in this busy part of the network and to reduce the potential impact on local roads.
To help with this, we have made changes to the road layout at key junctions in the area, including at M6 junction 8 southbound and M5 junction 4a northbound. This traffic management will be in place until autumn 2018.
These roadworks are causing some disruption to the M5 and the local area. We would like to thank you for your patience and recommend that where possible you:
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