PROSPER MAGAZINE: DIGITAL EDITION
BUILDING THE BLACK COUNTRY
WALSALL’S JUNCTION 10 GETS £78 MILLION OVERHAUL
Construction work is well underway on the huge £78m two-year scheme to cut congestion at a notorious bottleneck between Walsall and Wolverhampton.
Improvements to Junction 10 on the M6 near Walsall, a major route in and out of the Black Country, started earlier this year and involves building two huge bridges, twice the size of the ones that currently run over the motorway.
Traffic is continuing to run over the existing bridges until their replacements are built, with piling works for the new bridge abutments started this month.
Ongoing alteration work to the westbound section of the Black Country Route, which is currently being widened in order to create a third lane for traffic travelling in the direction of Wolverhampton, is continuing alongside the major project where traffic regularly backs up on the Black Country Route and Wolverhampton Road at peak times.
Transport chiefs believe the major project will help solve some of the issues faced by drivers, with the M6 junction 10 of strategic importance within the Black Country and the wider region.
The junction is often heavily congested, reducing the attractiveness of the local area for business and investment, including within the nearby Black Country Enterprise Zone.
Works to construct the new retaining structures, which will facilitate the widening of the circulatory will start shortly with the roundabout increasing from two lanes to four.
Additional lanes will be created on the M6 northbound and southbound exit slip roads with carriageway widening and traffic signal improvements at the Bloxwich Lane / Tempus Drive junction.
It is hoped the measures will not only reduce the congestion and capacity issues currently experienced at the junction but will also serve to improve access to the strategic road network and attract new businesses and development to the area.
Highways England Project Manager, David Reed said “It's not an easy undertaking, but as we're building the new one the old junction will still keep flowing.
"During the day, the local network is still the same. There may be cones or some narrowed lanes, but the same lane numbers will be there and on the M6 itself we will be taking the inside lane within the junction but retaining three of the lanes on the M6.
He added, "We aim to have it finished by spring 2022.”
Deputy Leader of Walsall Council. Cllr Adrian Andrew told Prosper, “This is an important partnership between Walsall Council and Highways England. Junction 10 is a vital part of Walsall’s transport infrastructure and the improvements will be a major boost to the economy of the borough and the wider region.”
Meanwhile West Midlands Mayor Andy Street, said, "I know how bad it can be, but it's also the gateway to Walsall and the gateway to Wolverhampton so it's an absolutely critical junction in the West Midlands.
"People are using this all day, every day for their commuting so the work that's gone in, pre-works planning with Walsall Council on dealing with the disruption and then managing it really well through the works will be very important."
M6 Junction 10
Provide a freer-flowing network:
reducing congestion on the A454/Black Country Route and other roads linking to the junction
reducing ‘rat-running’ traffic on nearby routes
reducing queuing on the motorway slip roads
Support economic growth:
improving access to the strategic road network
attracting new business and development to the area
improving links to Walsall development sites given Enterprise Zone status in 2011
Provide a safe and maintainable network:
replacing the bridge structures at M6 junction 10, avoiding major maintenance work in the near future
improving conditions for cyclists, pedestrians and other non-motorised users at the junction