NATIONAL Highways is carrying out extensive ground repair work at M5 junction 8 in the New Year to ensure it remains safe for motorists for years to come.
The comprehensive repair programme, worth more than £13million, is starting in January.
As a busy route to the south west, the M5 is a key part of the Midlands motorway network and is used by holidaymakers all year round.
Extensive ground survey work has been taking place over recent months to help engineers understand what is causing deterioration to the embankment, hard shoulder and lane one.
The results indicated that repairs to the embankment at the side of the M5 are needed to ensure that the motorway remains in good condition for years to come.
A new retaining wall will be built alongside the slip road, and part of the existing slope replaced with an improved, higher performance material to stabilise the embankment.
Once this has been completed the affected areas on the hard shoulder and lane one will be reconstructed. Work is expected to be complete by summer 2024.
National Highways Project Manager, Patricia Dray said:
“We take safety incredibly seriously and our survey work over recent months has shown that the embankment needs strengthening next to the affected area. By doing this work on the hard shoulder, lane one and the embankment now, it will ensure the road remains safe for years to come. It also means that it will prevent any further and more disruptive repair work in the future at the location.
“As part of the repair programme, a new retaining wall will be built alongside the slip road, and part of the existing slope replaced with an improved material to stabilise the embankment.
“Given the complexity of the work involved, we are going to begin work at the location in January once the festive season has drawn to a close because we want to make sure we limit disruption for drivers.
“We’re incredibly grateful to motorists for their patience as we know the ground investigation work has been taking place for a number of months. It was important that we collect enough data from the area so that we could understand the cause of the issue, design an appropriate engineering solution and carry out a comprehensive repair to prevent it happening again.”
So that the repair work can be carried out safely, narrow lanes will be installed with a reduced speed limit of 50mph through the area. There will also be a 40mph temporary speed limit in place on the southbound exit slip road and around the circulatory of junction 8 leading to the M50.
To enable this change, the M5 southbound will be closed overnight between junctions 7 and 9, Monday to Friday, between 8 January and 19 January 2024. Before closures are in place, traffic levels will be monitored with the aim to have the road fully closed by 9pm, reopening at 6am each day.
The M50 eastbound will also be closed from junction 1 to install traffic management, temporary CCTV and speed enforcement cameras at the M5 junction 8 interchange. The M5 northbound exit at junction 8 will also be closed.
During closures, a fully signed diversion route between junctions 7 and 11 of the M5.
Traffic will be diverted to junction 11 due to weight restrictions through Tewkesbury.
To limit disruption, National Highways has been liaising closely with Worcestershire and Gloucestershire County Councils to ensure there are no clashes in the use of the diversion route.
There will be additional overnight closures from Monday 29 January to Friday 2 February 2024. The southbound M5 at junction 8, between the exit and entry slip roads, will be closed to remove the road surface on the hard shoulder and lane one of the carriageway.
Traffic will be diverted down to the roundabout at junction 8, and back on to the M5 on the entry slip.