Highways England has started work to upgrade 56 overhead gantries on the 17-mile smart motorway route between the M60 and M62 in Manchester.
The work, which is being carried out overnight between junction 8 of the M60 near Sale and junction 20 of the M62 near Rochdale, will see the gantries fitted with new electronic signs. The smart motorway scheme will see the latest technology being used to monitor traffic levels and keep vehicles moving by using variable speed limits.
The hard shoulder will also be permanently converted into an extra lane between junctions 18 and 20 on the M62 to increase capacity on the route between Greater Manchester and West Yorkshire.
Highways England project manager Stef Wilson said: “Over 180,000 drivers travel along this stretch of the M60 and M62 every day, making it one of the busiest routes in the country.
“The new smart motorway will use variable speed limits to help tackle the stop-start conditions many of us have experienced in the past and an extra lane will be created on a five-mile stretch of the M62.”
Four specialist subcontractors will be brought in to upgrade the gantries, using cranes, scissor lifts and cherry pickers. Existing signs will be removed and new steel support structures, cables, electronic signs and lights will be fitted to each gantry.