We have been undertaking some preparatory work ahead of the main scheme starting on the M5 Oldbury Viaduct, between junctions 1 and 2. For safety, we are completing this work using 3 narrow lanes on each carriageway with a 40mph speed limit and some overnight closures.
You can view some images showing progress of work in our image gallery.
We have also been working with local authorities to ensure that local traffic disruption is kept to a minimum. As a result of this work we have funded improvements to several of the busiest junctions in the local area.
To inform local residents about our works we recently held three public information events in Oldbury and West Bromwich. We were supported at these events by representatives of the West Midlands Combined Authority and National Express, who were on hand to answer queries relating to alternative modes of travel. We also partnered with the West Midlands Combined Authority to promote alternative modes of travel by holding an exhibition on their display bus in Oldbury.
What next?In early summer 2017, we will start repair works on the southbound carriageway. We will need to close the carriageway and put in place a contraflow system with a 30mph speed limit. This means all traffic will be diverted onto the northbound carriageway, with two lanes operating in each direction, allowing us to keep this vital route open.
To manage the volume of traffic through this section the following measures will be in place:
- Northbound at M5 junction 4a for Bromsgrove, there will be two lanes leading onto the M42, with one lane continuing onto the M5 to encourage drivers to take the alternative route around Birmingham
- At the link between the M6 and the M5 southbound, one lane will lead onto the M5, with three lanes continuing onto the M6
- There will be reduced speed limits on approach to the 30mph speed restriction between junctions 1 and 2
|January 2017||Start of enabling works|
|March 2017||Public Information Events held|
|April 2017||Narrow lanes installed with 40mph speed limit on the viaduct|
|Summer 2017||Start of concrete repair work with major traffic management layout implemented|
|Autumn 2018||Target completion date|
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.
The structure itself 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.
By maintaining this section we are delivering a huge investment in Oldbury that will support economic growth locally and in the wider West Midlands. This supports our commitment to ensuring that the region’s roads are fit for now and for the future.
We are aware that this work will cause some disruption to the M5 and the local area. We will do everything possible to plan and manage our road works to keep traffic moving. We recommend where possible that you:
- plan ahead
- allow extra time for your journeys
- consider using alternative routes
- change modes of transport
- car share
- work from home
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. As the number of vehicles has increased, so has the amount of maintenance necessary to keep this road safe and open to traffic. 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 itself 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. The structural integrity relies on the waterproofing, which is hidden under the road surface and protects the steel bars reinforcing the concrete from corrosion.
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.
To minimise impact around the Birmingham area we have programmed this work now to maximise a window of opportunity before proposed work on other areas of the wider West Midlands, including HS2. We have collaborated with local authorities to consider their work programmes and suggestions for traffic management and agreed diversion routes.
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. We do advise drivers to take alternative routes along the motorway network where possible. If you are travelling north/south you may wish to use the M42/M6.
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
Roadworks and Events for England
The latest incident information for England's motorway and trunk routes provided by Highways England
Breaking News: Traffic Information
The latest current breaking news items for England's motorway network