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Almondsbury interchange safety enhancements nearly complete

M4 concrete barrier © National Highways

Works to improve driver safety on a six-mile section of motorway around the Almondsbury interchange are nearing completion. The project has been in progress for the past 14 months and has been carried out on the M4 between junctions 19 and 20 for Bristol and on the M5 between junctions 16 and 17 at Cribbs Causeway.

One of the primary improvements was to replace the four-mile steel barrier on the central reservation of the M4 with concrete which will significantly reduce the risk of vehicles crossing over from one carriageway to another – and minimise maintenance.

The Almondsbury interchange on the M5 has also seen the addition of three new emergency areas; the upgrade of traffic signs to provide better information for drivers; improved drainage and better lighting.

Nick Wells, who is overseeing the upgrades for National Highways, said: “Safety is our number one priority and we’re delighted to be approaching completion on these improvement works. Upgrading these barriers will improve journeys and significantly reduce the risk of vehicles crossing over from one carriageway to another, improving safety and reducing the duration of incident-related congestion."

The scheme is being delivered by SMP Alliance for National Highways. Darren Lindsay, SMP Alliance’s M4/M5 Project Manager with on-site assembly partner Balfour Beatty, said: “Working closely with National Highways, SMP Alliance’s team of collaborative experts worked tirelessly to efficiently deliver safety enhancements across this stretch of the motorway, including upgrades to the central reserve drainage system, barrier and lighting.”

While the work to enhance the M5 is almost complete, maintenance projects to refurbish two bridges between junctions 15 and 16 on the M5 will continue until the summer. This means traffic restrictions will still be in place between junctions 17 to 16 heading north on the M5.

The bridges on the M5 at junctions 15 and 16 (Almondsbury and Patchway) are now over 50 years old and needed waterproofing, surfacing, expansion joints and repairs to the concrete to maintain them for the long term.

Refurbishment work was scheduled at the same time as the safety enhancement works, ensuring that any disruption for motorists was kept to a minimum and not duplicated and to avoid another 12 months of roadworks.