Commuters and shoppers heading to central Birmingham this weekend may face delays, as the A38(M) Aston Expressway and M6 junction 6 are closed for repairs and will not reopen until 6am on Monday.
From Monday morning, and for the next six weeks, the A38(M) out of Birmingham will be limited to two lanes, with a 30mph speed limit for safety. All three lanes into the city will still be available, but with the same speed restrictions.
Highways England project manager, Jess Kenny, said, “From Monday (25 July), the lane restrictions on the Aston Expressway out of Birmingham may affect people driving home after work. We’re urging drivers to plan ahead, consider alternative arrangements and check live traffic before setting off to help avoid queues.
“Throughout this project, Birmingham remains open for business. It will still be possible to drive into and out of the city, and Birmingham City Council is encouraging drivers to take public transport or alter their journeys where possible.”
The Aston Expressway needs traffic management to allow Highways England to safely close M6 junction 6, where road crews will work to replace waterproofing, repair damaged concrete, and resurface the road for smoother journeys.
Highways England has worked closely with Birmingham City Council to plan the roadworks to minimise disruption. The weekend closures are taking place during the summer holidays as the roads around Birmingham are much quieter.
It is hoped that the project will be complete by the end of the year, but Highways England has stressed that engineers cannot tell the scale of concrete damage to be repaired until the carriageway is closed and the road surface removed.
Jess Kenny added, “We need to work now to ensure this part of Spaghetti Junction is protected for years to come. Waterproofing is very important as it protects the concrete from damage, and the reinforcing steel bars from corrosion.
“If we don’t act now, water will cause more and more damage to the viaduct, meaning bigger and more disruptive roadworks in future.
“The weekend closures have been planned closely with the city council, which has represented the views of local residents and businesses, which we have taken into account while planning these works.
“We would like to thank drivers for their patience as we complete this vital scheme.”
Closures will be introduced on the Aston Expressway (tidal flow lane), Park Circus and Salford Circus to complete essential work over a 24 week period.
Highways England has invited the council to use its traffic management to complete its own essential maintenance tasks, which would otherwise need separate roadworks in future.
Motorists travelling into Birmingham city centre can find out more information about trains, buses and trams online at www.networkwestmidlands.
Information on the scheme, including a map of diversion routes and closure details, is available on the scheme website.
Drivers can get live traffic updates via the Traffic England website or by following @HighwaysWMIDS on Twitter and the Highways England Customer Contact Centre is also available 24-hours-a-day on 0300 123 5000.