The contraflow system is now in place with all traffic now using the northbound carriageway with 2 narrow lanes operating in each direction. A 30mph speed restriction is in place to ensure the safety of road users and the workforce, allowing us to keep this vital route open.
The M5 junction 1 to 2 Oldbury viaduct contraflow diagram
If you are travelling across the country from the North to the 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.
As with any new traffic management scheme there is always bedding in period before things settle down, we will continue to monitor this to see if we can make any changes to ease the impact and we thank you for your patience.
Our engineers have started to remove the existing surfacing and waterproofing on the southbound carriageway. We are inspecting the reinforced concrete deck and assessing the full extent of the concrete repairs required.
Overnight closures will continue until the end of August to allow us to install temporary lighting as the old system is disconnected and removed.
Over the next few weeks we will complete the removal of the existing surfacing and waterproofing to the southbound carriageway. In addition we will be preparing the reinforced concrete deck joints for repair by removing the existing concrete using specialist hydro-demolition techniques.
|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|
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’s. 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. Running underneath the viaduct are 4 single carriageways, 2 dual carriageways, and a public underpass. 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 it is vital that one carriageway at a time is repaired.
To carry out concrete repair and joint replacement work 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 work will also involve:
- 6 major traffic management phases
- removal of the existing surfacing
- removal of existing waterproofing and replacing with a new system
- complete re-surfacing
- new concrete central barrier
- replacement of several miles of drainage pipework
Please plan your journeys in advance, allow extra time and consider alternative modes of transport, car sharing or working from home where possible.
The aims of this scheme are to:
- repair the viaduct to a safe and serviceable condition
- support the local economy and ensure safety for road users
- prevent larger repairs in the future with more disruption
- minimise disruption during the work as much as possible by effectively managing the flow of traffic throughout the wider area
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