Planned works to upgrade the M4 to Smart Motorway between junction 3 and junction 12 have been given a start date in 2016 by the Highways Agency.
This £700M scheme will be the biggest Smart Motorway upgrade yet, involving the upgrade or replacement of 16 motorway bridges and installation of monitoring and signage technology along 32 miles of carriageway.
The route will also be widened to four lanes in each direction by converting the hard shoulder to a running lane. Carriageway already four lanes wide between Heathrow junction 4 and junction 4b with the M25 will be widened to five lanes.
The Highways Agency started a six week public consultation earlier this month in order to apply for development consent to the Planning Inspectorate in early 2015. The consultation will run until Sunday 21 December.
Subject to receiving development consent from the Transport Secretary construction work is expected to start in September 2016 and take more than five years to complete.
Highways Agency project manager Lynne Stinson said: “Upgrading this busy section of the M4 is a massive job.”
“We want as many people as possible to get involved in our consultation which sets out how we plan to deliver the improvements.”
The Highways Agency announced this week that its plans will be the subject of a live webchat to be held on 2 December.
“This webchat is a great way for anyone with an interest in the project to get involved and let us know what they think,” added Ms Stinson.
The M4 carries over 130,000 vehicles per day and currently suffers from heavy congestion. The Smart Motorway project is intended to increase capacity, with installation of technology set to help keep traffic flowing and drivers informed.