The steel barrier replacement work is taking place on seven sections of dynamic hard shoulder motorway – where the hard shoulder is used by traffic in busy periods – and begins in the Midlands this month.
Plans to convert these sections of motorway to the latest All Lane Running standard have been paused pending the Government safety review.
Work will start on the M6 between junctions 4 (Coleshill) and 5 (Castle Bromwich) on 14 March and is set to be completed by autumn. Further sections up to junction 10a will follow.
One civils contractor told the Enquirer: “This work is a bit of a lifeline because it helps to keep the supply chain going while Smart motorway work is on hold.”
Paul Unwin, who is overseeing the upgrades for National Highways, said: “Safety is our top priority. Upgrading these barriers will improve journeys and significantly reduce the risk of vehicles crossing over from one carriageway to another, improving safety and reducing the duration of incident-related congestion.
“We will continue to deliver safety enhancements to these motorways, which are among the busiest in the country and are relied on by hundreds of thousands of people every day.”
As announced in the Government response to the Transport Committee recommendations, the conversion of DHS sections of motorway to All Lane Running has been paused while alternative ways to operate the dynamic hard shoulder are considered.