Online upgrade of the existing chronically congested 3-lane motorway to dual 4-lane standard with continuous hard shoulders.
This scheme was completed in and we're no longer accepting updates or changes to this page.
Preparatory works have started at the Berry Lane Viaduct, between Junctions 17-18. This is in advance of the main works which are scheduled to start in April 2009.
Exhibitions are to be held in March 2009. Details have been published on the Highways Agency webite.
Works signs now up - work starts on 27th April for 58 weeks. This is to widen the section between junctions 16 and 19.
The majority of clockwise carriageway works have been completed. Clockwise structural works have now commenced and anticlockwise ground preparation is underway.
The section between junctions 16 and 17 has been completed and is now back at NSL. The condition of the road surface is however somewhat shocking really.
50mph section with average speed cameras now extends to approx 1/2 mile past J21 clockwise. Work is yet to start after J18 though. From the evidence of gantry base works between J21 and 23 it appears this section may only be upgraded with VSL and kept as dual three lanes.
Junction 16 to 18 now completed, work started all the way around to junction 23. Most of the work is focussed on j18-19, though j19-21 is well underway. J21a-23 has only had a bit of work done so far.
A committee of MPs has criticised the Highways Agency for not considering cheaper alternatives to widening such as hard shoulder running. The Agency was also criticised for taking too long over the procurement process (9 years) and for poor cost estimates. This mishandling has added an extra £1bn to the total cost of the scheme.
The Highways Agency announces that work to widen the section between J21a-23 has now started.
The work west of junction 21 is now mostly finished with the widened motorway fully open and just some tidying up to do.
The 50mph temporary speed restriction was lifted today. The main phase of construction is now complete and the road is open to four lanes of traffic in both directions.
With thanks to Si and Michael Pritchard for information on this page.