£218m M27 smart motorway project due to start in March 2018 following severe delays
A multi-million pound plan to upgrade a Hampshire motorway is back on track following a number of delays.
Highways England have announced that the £275m M27 smart motorway project will start in March 2018 and is due for completion in March 2021 after the authority awarded the contract to deliver the scheme to bmJV, a joint venture between Morgan Sindall and BAM Nuttall.
The proposed project will run between Junction 4 at Chilworth near Eastleigh and 11 at Fareham.
It comes after the project was set to be delayed because Highways England feared that the project would clash with other major road projects.
Under the plans, the hard shoulder will be converted into a fourth lane with the junction slip roads altered to accommodate this and put in place emergency refuge areas throughout the length of the scheme.
Meanwhile, new CCTV cameras and electronic information signs will also be installed along with signals on gantries which will show variable mandatory speed limits and manage traffic flow.
Councillor Sean Woodward, leader of Fareham Borough Council, said: “I am delighted that the contract have been awarded to get and I have got the commitment from Chris Grayling that Highways England will deliver both this scheme and Junction 10 of the M27 at the same time.”
Paul Gott, managing director of Highways at Morgan Sindall, said; “This contract marks the start of a prestigious project for bmJV.
“The established relationship between our two companies enables us to provide the best possible service to enhance the capacity and reliability of the UK’s strategic road network in order to improve journeys for road users.”
Fareham MP Suella Fernandes, said: “Good roads are vital for enabling businesses to grow, supporting the regional economy and improving people’s quality of life.
“But for years, chronic congestion along parts of the M27 has been a major concern for local people. “It has become one of the top issues people in Fareham contact me about.
“I absolutely welcome the news that work to upgrade the M27 to a smart motorway will start in early 2018 – which will cut congestion and improve journey times.”
John Henderson, Highways England route manager, said: “Highways England is delivering the biggest roads investment for a generation, and is starting work on four multi-million pound upgrades for the Solent before 2021 with the M27 being one of them.”
Smart motorways use pioneering technology to manage traffic during busy periods – this includes changing the speed limit to smooth traffic flow, activating warning signs and closing lanes when needed.