On-line widening of the M27 between junctions 3 and 4 (M271 to M3) to dual-four lane standard. It actually comes with a sister scheme, to add climbing lanes in both directions between J11 and J12, which was started in January 2008 and opened in September of that year.
Information recently released shows that the widening will involve narrowing the central reservation and will not involve the replacement of existing bridges.
A last-minute change to the scheme means that the road will not carry VSL (variable speed limits, as seen on the M25), something which had been part of the scheme since it was first proposed.
This scheme was completed in and we're no longer accepting updates or changes to this page.
Contracts are now being awarded for this scheme. Costain have accepted work to construct the new bridges required on the route.
Widening work is now in progress, with land clearance already under way.
Although the works were planned to run until April/May 2009, it's estimated that the new lanes could be open before Christmas with landscaping continuing until March.
The Highways Agency have said that the three lanes will return to full width on the 6th December (eastbound) and the 13th (westbound). The 50mph speed limit will remain until the new lane opens in 2009.
On the 20th December the Highways Agency surprised everyone by opening the new lane in time for the Christmas rush. A 50mph SPECs-enforced speed limit still applies for communications work which will run in to the new year.
The roadworks were officially opened today, with the unveiling of a new plaque near J3 and the removal of the 50mph speed limit. Landscaping work will continue for a few months with irregular hard shoulder closures.