11 bridges to be replaced during M4 Smart motorway works

Exhibition to showcase plans will take place tomorrow in Datchet

MOTORISTS keen to find out what is happening to the M4 will be able to find out at a series of new exhibitions taking place in East Berkshire from tomorrow.

Ahead of preparations for work on the stretch between junctions 8/9 to junction 3 – which starts in May – Highways England is organising the special events to explain about the next phase of work.

A 32-mile stretch of the M4 between Hayes and Theale is being turned into a smart motorway. Highways England said that it will improve the journeys of the 130,000 drivers who use it every day.

As well as an extra lane that will increase capacity and reduce congestion, drivers will benefit from 100% infrared CCTV coverage and upgraded technology to give information about conditions ahead.

Work started on the stretch between junctions 8/9 and 10 (between Maidenhead and Wokingham) in July last year. This has seen trees removed from parts of the route, notably in Winnersh.

Now, Highways England is making preparations for what it says is the more complex section of the scheme, progressing east from junctions 8/9 towards junction 3. This will include replacing 11 bridges.

At the information events, visitors will be able to see details of the work and speak with the project team.

Highways England delivery director Mike Grant said:  “The upgrade to the M4 is progressing well and we are about to start the most complex section of the work, which includes the replacement of 11 bridges.

“The public information exhibitions starting this week in Datchet and ending in Iver on 1 April give people the chance to speak to the project team, and put any questions directly to them, whether they are about the M4 project or smart motorways in general. I encourage people to come along.

“Britain has some of the safest roads in the world and evidence shows smart motorways are just as safe as traditional motorways. Smart motorways are central to our plans for modernising the motorway network and add vital extra capacity.

“Drivers will also see better information about conditions through new smart motorway technology which helps us to manage incidents, smooth traffic flow, make journeys more reliable and improve journey times, while maintaining high levels of safety.”

Under the plans, the hard shoulder will be permanently converted into a live running lane between junctions 3 and 12 in both directions. New signs and signals will be used to vary the speed limit to reduce congestion at busy times, and to control traffic if there is an obstruction on the road ahead.

It is expected to be completed by the spring of 2022.

Smart motorway
The map shows the section of the M4 between junctions 8/9 and 3, with work set to start in May. This section is complex and includes the replacement of 11 bridges. Picture: Highways England

Venues for Smart Motorway public exhibitions

Wednesday 13 March 5pm – 9pm

Datchet Women’s Institute Hall, The Green, Datchet, Berkshire SL3 9EH

Friday 15 March, Noon – 7pm

Slough Aspire, 350 Edinburgh Avenue, Slough SL1 4TU (on the trading estate)

Monday 18 March 4pm – 8pm

Cippenham Community Centre, 90 Earls Lane, Slough SL1 5TD

Tuesday 19 March 3pm – 8pm

Heathrow Windsor Marriott, Ditton Road, Slough SL3 8PT

Wednesday 20 March 4pm – 8pm

Langley Pavilion, Langley Road, Slough, SL3 8BS

Friday 22 March 5.30pm – 8pm

Yiewsley & West Drayton Community  Centre, 228 Harmondsworth Road, West Drayton, Middlesex UB7 9JL

Saturday 23 March Noon-4pm

Hayes & Harlington Community Centre, Albert Road, Hayes, Middlesex UB3 4HR

Thursday 28 March 6pm – 9pm

Cranford Community College, High Street, Hounslow TW5 9PD

Monday 1 April 6:30pm – 9pm

Iver Village Hall, Grange Way, Iver, Buckinghamshire SL0 9NW

 

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Phil Creighton

Editor of The Wokingham Paper, and has worked in local journalism for more than 20 years including the Wokingham Times, Bracknell Standard and Reading Evening Post. He's also written for computer magazines, The Baptist Times and, to his delight and probably not yours, interviewed several Doctor Whos.

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