Work to upgrade the M62 between junctions 10 (Croft Interchange at the M6) and junction 12 (Eccles Interchange at the M60) to Smart Motorway standard. This will include the introduction of new technology, with Variable Speed Limits, new traffic sensors and CCTV. Refuge areas will also be installed at regular intervals by the side of the motorway.
The completed works will see the M62 operate All Lane Running throughout this section, meaning that the hard shoulder will be converted to a permanent fourth running lane. It's likely that this fourth lane will be dropped through the M6 interchange.
This scheme is part of the Smart Motorways programme of works.
Temporary signs have gone up on the eastbound side just after Croft Interchange warning that work is due to start imminently.
Variable speed limits are already in place j10-j11 (Eastbound only) as a result of the Ramp Metering scheme installed at Croft last year.
Survey work is underway, but there are no temporary speed limits or other restrictions on traffic yet.
"Average speed check" cameras are now being installed along this stretch - however they are not yet in use and no temporary speed limit has yet been applied.
With the M60 scheme now complete, major work is now beginning on this one instead. A series of overnight closures this week is installing narrow lanes, semi-permanent barriers to protect workers and a blanket 50mph limit in both directions.
Work has started here since summer.
Work to remove the metal crash barriers from the central reservation is now all but complete, and in many areas the ground has been excavated and the lowest level of foundations laid ready for concrete to be poured and form the new rigid concrete barrier. Around two-thirds of the route had already had a concrete central barrier before the work began.
Moving the traffic away from the central barrier means the Eastbound approach to j12 was remodeled over the winter, and this seems to have eased the peak-time queues somewhat. The left two lanes now lead directly onto the M60 clockwise and the resumption of the M62 towards Leeds, with only the right-most lane for M60 (South) and M602 traffic. Before the works began, only traffic in lane 1 would automatically end up on the route towards Leeds.
From the paintwork that has appeared on the eastbound carriageway between j11 and j12 , and an advertised series of overnight closures over the next couple of weeks, it looks as though a contraflow is being set up along this Eastern stretch of the scheme, similar to that on the M6 south of j15 .
The contraflow is currently in operation from J11 to J12 Eastbound.
Another series of overnight closures is being done to extend the contraflow, so it will cover almost the entire distance between j11 and j12. However despite both signs and paintwork indicating lane 3 is only any use for the M602, currently all 3 eastbound lanes can be used to access all routes at j12.
Interestingly, unlike the similar contraflow on the M6 south of j15, semi-permanent street lighting has been installed around the new crossovers. Even more strangely, the contraflow has been created by removing the permanent concrete barrier despite in at least one location there being a steel emergency crossover gate available just a short distance away.
Within the current contraflow area, work to construct the first emergency layby and some other off-carriageway constriction is already well underway.
The contraflow now runs virtually the whole distance between j11 and j12 - and Highways England are warning that major work at j12 will begin in early June to install new gantries. Presumably this work - which will involve shifting eastbound traffic away from the nearside kerb on the approach to the M60 - will introduce the contraflow through j12, meaning the M602 will effectively begin just east of j11, and making all the paintwork and signs warning that lane 3 is only for M602 traffic suddenly more relevant.
The contraflow never reached as far as junction 12 itself, and so the signs and lane markings suggesting that eastbound lane 3 from J11 onwards was only for the M602 were never technically correct. However, they likely did reduce the number of vehicles heading for the M60(N) and the continuing M62 attempting to cross 2 lanes of motorway traffic in the space of half a mile.
Both Eastbound and Westbound traffic has - since mid-August when the contraflow was removed - been running as close to the concrete central barrier as possible. Piling for some of the new gantries has clearly started, and earthmoving work for the emergency refuge laybys is largely complete on the Eastbound side. The westbound side is clearly less advanced as work crews have only had safe access to the hard shoulder for around a month.
Junction 12 has been significantly remodelled for eastbound traffic. Lane 1 (the original hard shoulder) has been out of use on approach to the junction for several months now. Currently the lane allocations are:
- Lane 1 (normally lane 2): lane drop to M60 North & East (clockwise) & M62 traffic
- Lane 2 (normally lane 3): Split for all destinations - turn off for M60 (all directions) including M62 traffic, straight on for M602
- Lane 3 (normally lane 4): M602 only.
The remodelling only involves new paint markings and a few temporary signs, but also introduces a right-hand exit from the slip-road for M60 (anticlockwise/S) traffic. Unfortunately, the temporary signs and the paintwork on the road don't fully match each other, and the permanent and highly-visible gantry signs also still suggest that M60(N) and M62 traffic must use the left-most lane. The end result is that the long queues approaching the junction eastbound are once again a common sight, despite the temporary layout in the early stage of works virtually eliminating these.
High-capacity guttering and new kerblines have now been laid along most of the eastbound side. Retaining walls are now in place for several refuge laybys on the westbound side as well.
With thanks to David Peek and Josh Tumath for information on this page.