M4 Junction 3 to 12 Smart Motorway

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jackal
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Re: M4 Junction 3 to 12 Smart Motorway

Post by jackal » Tue Jan 28, 2020 18:16

Bendo wrote:
Tue Jan 28, 2020 16:32
BOH wrote:
Tue Jan 28, 2020 13:49
A303Chris wrote:
Mon Jan 27, 2020 15:32
Update below from the HE with regards the next full weekend closure which will finish early on the Sunday given the rugby at Twickenham, forget the thousands going to Stamford Bridge on the Saturday. It also says regular weekend closures between April and November, brilliant on the main route to the busiest international airport in the world, during the holiday season.
I believe LHR has lost that crown now, about 3-4 years ago IIRC. I think is now DXB
Since the year 2000 it has been Hartsfield–Jackson Atlanta International Airport. LHR is 7.
Most passengers annually=Atlanta. Most international passengers annually=Dubai (was LHR).

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Re: M4 Junction 3 to 12 Smart Motorway

Post by mathmo » Tue Jan 28, 2020 22:27

Eastbound J6-5 was back to 50mph all the way this morning. Westbound is still NSL but I suspect that won't last much longer (maybe next week).

A303Chris wrote:
Mon Jan 27, 2020 15:32
There will be regular full weekend closures of the M4 throughout this year, mostly taking place between April and November. You can find out more in our bulletins and on our websites.
I've just noticed that the newsletter says:
We have so far completed 4 weekend closures of the M4 since September 2019, but we have approximately 22 more before the end of 2020. The exact dates are currently being scheduled and these will be published in the February 2020 bulletin. Given that most of the bridges we need to work on are between Junctions 6 and 8/9, that stretch of the M4 will see the most weekend closures (about half of the total), followed by Junctions 5 to 6.
so that's approximately every other weekend for the rest of the year!

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Re: M4 Junction 3 to 12 Smart Motorway

Post by A303Chris » Wed Jan 29, 2020 08:54

mathmo wrote:
Tue Jan 28, 2020 22:27

I've just noticed that the newsletter says:
We have so far completed 4 weekend closures of the M4 since September 2019, but we have approximately 22 more before the end of 2020. The exact dates are currently being scheduled and these will be published in the February 2020 bulletin. Given that most of the bridges we need to work on are between Junctions 6 and 8/9, that stretch of the M4 will see the most weekend closures (about half of the total), followed by Junctions 5 to 6.
so that's approximately every other weekend for the rest of the year!
I hope that is a misquote and should say 2021 as the scheme is due for completion in March 2022. Beams need to be lifted for the new bridges but this can be done when another is being demolished as was with the case for the Monkey island bridge which were lifted when Marsh Lane was demolished. What we have left.

A330 Ascot Road, lift beams for new bridge, complete then demolish existing (max 2 closures)
Monkey Island Road demolish existing, new bridge beams already in place (max 2 closures)
Marsh Lane, lift Beams for new bridge (one closures)
Lake End Road, demolish existing bridge, left beams for (two closures, bridge can't be demolished until Marsh Lane complete as this will be diversion route, Marsh Lane diverted over Lake End Road.
Junction 7 - Lift beams for new bridge, remove temporary (two closures)
Moor Furlong Footbridge, lift beams, bridge demolished (one closure)
Wood Lane , lift beams for new bridge, demolish existing when new open (two closures)
Datchet Road, lift beams for new bridge, demolish existing when new open (two closures)
Upton Footbridge, lift beams for new bridge, could be done at same time as lifting beams for adjacent Datchet Bridge (one closure)
Riding Court Road, lift beams for new bridge, demolish existing when new open (two closures)
Old Slade Lane, demolish old bridge next month, replace footbridge (two closures)

That is 20 closures, but some of the works are not to next year, so I'm assuming that's a closure a month, which is basically what we have had so far. But I wouldn't put it past the HE to close it during the holiday weekends as they did with the M20!!
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Re: M4 Junction 3 to 12 Smart Motorway

Post by WHBM » Wed Jan 29, 2020 10:19

For a scheme which is essentially converting the hard shoulder to a running lane, supposedly being a quick and cheap piece of work compared to proper widening, some of the works are extraordinary.

I noticed yesterday, on J3-J4, passing Heathrow, what was the hard shoulder only a few weeks ago is now a running lane. However there are now three temporarily narrow running lanes on both carriageways, on the onetime shoulder, lane 1, and half lane 2. All the rest in the middle, the remaining 1.5 lanes each way, plus the central reserve, is all now being excavated right down to the subsoil. This on a section which was completely rebuilt in the mid-1990s when the original concrete carriageways were dug up and replaced. It's an enormous width of excavation, greater than the carriageways themselves. However is that cost part of converting the hard shoulder to a running lane ?

The M23 job, from the M25 to Gatwick, is similar, huge groundworks to give the ALR result.

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Re: M4 Junction 3 to 12 Smart Motorway

Post by Bryn666 » Wed Jan 29, 2020 11:02

WHBM wrote:
Wed Jan 29, 2020 10:19
For a scheme which is essentially converting the hard shoulder to a running lane, supposedly being a quick and cheap piece of work compared to proper widening, some of the works are extraordinary.

I noticed yesterday, on J3-J4, passing Heathrow, what was the hard shoulder only a few weeks ago is now a running lane. However there are now three temporarily narrow running lanes on both carriageways, on the onetime shoulder, lane 1, and half lane 2. All the rest in the middle, the remaining 1.5 lanes each way, plus the central reserve, is all now being excavated right down to the subsoil. This on a section which was completely rebuilt in the mid-1990s when the original concrete carriageways were dug up and replaced. It's an enormous width of excavation, greater than the carriageways themselves. However is that cost part of converting the hard shoulder to a running lane ?

The M23 job, from the M25 to Gatwick, is similar, huge groundworks to give the ALR result.
Highways England are actually investigating the amount of earthworks being done on the M23, but the fact remains it's their own over specification of works that causes this nonsense.
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Re: M4 Junction 3 to 12 Smart Motorway

Post by WHBM » Wed Jan 29, 2020 12:09

Bryn666 wrote:
Wed Jan 29, 2020 11:02
Highways England are actually investigating the amount of earthworks being done on the M23, but the fact remains it's their own over specification of works that causes this nonsense.
I am aware of that investigation too. But how on earth can it come to a retrospective investigation. Do HE not, as client, have their own Resident Engineer and Surveyors full time on such a substantial job ?

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Re: M4 Junction 3 to 12 Smart Motorway

Post by Bryn666 » Wed Jan 29, 2020 12:13

WHBM wrote:
Wed Jan 29, 2020 12:09
Bryn666 wrote:
Wed Jan 29, 2020 11:02
Highways England are actually investigating the amount of earthworks being done on the M23, but the fact remains it's their own over specification of works that causes this nonsense.
I am aware of that investigation too. But how on earth can it come to a retrospective investigation. Do HE not, as client, have their own Resident Engineer and Surveyors full time on such a substantial job ?
Resi-dent... Eng-.... hahaha no it's all dealt with by the contractors and area maintenance contracts from what I gather. GIGO springs to mind.

I'm still not actually sure what HE itself does. Other than political posturing and printing glossy PDFs telling us how good they are.
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Re: M4 Junction 3 to 12 Smart Motorway

Post by WHBM » Wed Jan 29, 2020 12:19

It did strike me that with such a substantial central area of the M4 being excavated, there was sufficient space to insert a third tidal flow express carriageway, USA-style, between the outer two, and use it with the peak flow … :) .

I would get some photos from an overbridge, but I'm only going to/from there at present in the dark.
Resi-dent... Eng-.... hahaha no it's all dealt with by the contractors and area maintenance contracts from what I gather. GIGO springs to mind.

I'm still not actually sure what HE itself does.
Well that's their own bloody fault then. Have they never worked with commercially-oriented contractors before ?

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Re: M4 Junction 3 to 12 Smart Motorway

Post by Chris5156 » Wed Jan 29, 2020 12:51

WHBM wrote:
Wed Jan 29, 2020 12:19
I'm still not actually sure what HE itself does.
Well that's their own bloody fault then. Have they never worked with commercially-oriented contractors before ?
As far as I can tell, Highways England is effectively a commissioning body. They do virtually zero engineering. They receive instructions from the DfT about which schemes to take forward, so they have no particular network strategy other than that handed to them; they then hand out design work to private firms of consulting engineers; they then hand out construction and maintenance contracts to firms of civil engineers. They are a company of project managers, account managers and accountants - and you should calibrate your expectation of engineering expertise accordingly!*

I'm reminded of Barnet Borough Council's failed and discredited attempt to turn itself into an "easyCouncil" that just outsourced all its services to private companies at the lowest possible cost. They soon discovered that having zero qualified staff on their books made them extraordinarily reliant on their procurement people getting it exactly right every time before locking them into years-long contracts, which of course they didn't and indeed couldn't. Barnet abandoned the idea of outsourcing everything some years ago.

* This obviously excludes their direct employment of traffic officers, control room staff, press office, etc etc, which aren't relevant to the issue at hand.

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Re: M4 Junction 3 to 12 Smart Motorway

Post by c2R » Fri Feb 21, 2020 13:07

Minor corrective legislation, not really worth clicking the link: http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2019 ... en_001.pdf
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Re: M4 Junction 3 to 12 Smart Motorway

Post by mathmo » Sun Mar 15, 2020 15:57

The March newsletter for this scheme is out.

The next closure is J5-6 Friday 3rd to Sunday 5th April to install new beams at Riding Court Road. I'm disappointed they're not also doing the same at Recreation Ground (the next bridge west) during the same closure, as that looks more ready for it than the bridge mentioned!

It also contains a very long full list of subsequent closures for 2020:
Junctions 6 to 8/9: 24-27 April
Junctions 6 to 8/9: 2-4 May
Junctions 6 to 8/9: 15-18 May
Junctions 6 to 8/9: 29 May-1 June
Junctions 6 to 8/9: 5-8 June
Junctions 5 to 6: 12-14 June
Junctions 4b to 5: 27-29 June
Junctions 8/9 to 10: 10-12 July
Junctions 6 to 8/9: 17-19 July
Junctions 5 to 6: 18-21 September
Junctions 6 to 8/9: 25-28 September
Junctions 5 to 6: 9-12 October
Junctions 6 to 8/9: 16-19 October
Junctions 6 to 8/9: 23-26 October
Junctions 10 to 11: 30 October-2 November
Junctions 10 to 11: 7-9 November
Junctions 5 to 6: 14-16 November
Junctions 6 to 8/9: 20-23 November
Junctions 6 to 8/9: 4-7 December

I struggle to understand so many J6-8/9 closures so soon as none of the bridges there look anywhere near ready for a closure! Maybe they'll suddenly make some more progress though.

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Re: M4 Junction 3 to 12 Smart Motorway

Post by WHBM » Sun Mar 15, 2020 16:44

Now that J3-J5 has been already running on the onetime hard shoulder for a while, the outer boundary of the new carriageways, is there any reason for the substantial tree felling that has taken place in the last week, well outside the carriageway line and in some cases outside the fenced boundary.

And is there any landscaping plan in the budget for making it as nice as before, or is it just slash and leave it ? Some of these trees had been effective noise barriers for the neighbours.

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Re: M4 Junction 3 to 12 Smart Motorway

Post by RichardA35 » Sun Mar 15, 2020 18:23

WHBM wrote:
Sun Mar 15, 2020 16:44
......Some of these trees had been effective noise barriers for the neighbours.
Unfortunately trees cannot be relied on until they have grown for 5-10 years and then there is autumn and winter.....

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Re: M4 Junction 3 to 12 Smart Motorway

Post by marconaf » Sun Mar 15, 2020 22:59

WHBM wrote:
Wed Jan 29, 2020 12:19
It did strike me that with such a substantial central area of the M4 being excavated, there was sufficient space to insert a third tidal flow express carriageway, USA-style, between the outer two, and use it with the peak flow … :) .
Having used the US style schemes near San Diego, into LA and also Vegas, they are curious.

A single “high occupancy” lane system doesn’t work due to lack of overtaking ability for a high occupancy but slow vehicle, and the switches back into the main lanes cause all sorts of weaving and near misses (of course the US dont have the same rigid lane discipline as us so this is less of an issue for them, but really noticeable to a brit expecting that outer lane to be faster/free flowing).

The expressway down the middle concept has more (but not enormous) land take, and central on/off ramps which is very strange to drive, but it works amazingly well.

I can’t imagine it happening here - the M6 Birm-Manchester would be a strong candidate as would M62 atound Manchester. Building one the Americans basically build a new mainline to the side, then convert the old one which is now in the middle, to 2x D2 with seperate junctions. The M25 probably needs it, but there isn’t space, and I think the solution to that is more, outer ringways to take routes off it.

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Re: M4 Junction 3 to 12 Smart Motorway

Post by EpicChef » Mon May 04, 2020 21:09

OK - what's going to happen here because of the so-called "Stocktake"?
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Re: M4 Junction 3 to 12 Smart Motorway

Post by ChrisH » Wed Jul 01, 2020 14:06

We're now halfway through 2020 and the scheme is apparently halfway complete overall.

Many of the new bridges between J4b and J8/9 are now in place or ready to be installed. The numerous weekend closures are continuing which at these times of less traffic is causing less disruption than it otherwise would have.

West of Maidenhead the works are looking nearly complete. Concrete central barrier is in throughout, except about a mile west of J10, and the verges, noise barriers and edge barriers are also nearly in. The emergency rest areas are becoming apparent, and some of the signing for ERAs and Driver Location Signs have been installed. Most interestingly, all the 50mph speed limit signs on the westbound section J11-12 have been replaced with prism signs, including a large pair of signs at J11 which suggest that the limit will be raised once the works are complete.

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Re: M4 Junction 3 to 12 Smart Motorway

Post by EpicChef » Wed Jul 01, 2020 14:28

ChrisH wrote:
Wed Jul 01, 2020 14:06
We're now halfway through 2020 and the scheme is apparently halfway complete overall.

Many of the new bridges between J4b and J8/9 are now in place or ready to be installed. The numerous weekend closures are continuing which at these times of less traffic is causing less disruption than it otherwise would have.

West of Maidenhead the works are looking nearly complete. Concrete central barrier is in throughout, except about a mile west of J10, and the verges, noise barriers and edge barriers are also nearly in. The emergency rest areas are becoming apparent, and some of the signing for ERAs and Driver Location Signs have been installed. Most interestingly, all the 50mph speed limit signs on the westbound section J11-12 have been replaced with prism signs, including a large pair of signs at J11 which suggest that the limit will be raised once the works are complete.
I'm more worried they'll end up doing this.
It makes me wonder as to whether they intend to put any MS4s in at all.
Have new MS4 signal posts/gantries been put up between J11-12? Or are the existing ones still in place?
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Re: M4 Junction 3 to 12 Smart Motorway

Post by A303Chris » Wed Jul 01, 2020 16:04

EpicChef wrote:
Wed Jul 01, 2020 14:28

I'm more worried they'll end up doing this.
It makes me wonder as to whether they intend to put any MS4s in at all.
Have new MS4 signal posts/gantries been put up between J11-12? Or are the existing ones still in place?
They've done the same on the M23 opened up before the technology is in place. I heard the signs were manufactured in Italy and given the lockdown there, they are now 3 to 4 months behind so the HE opened up with a 50mph in place until the stuff can be made.

On the M4, last time I went through, there seems to be a mixture of new MS4 brackets and Old ones along the stretch J8/9 to J12.

Given J8/9 to J5, never had an MS4 upgrade in the early 00's and was still the old MS2 matrix's in the central reserve, I would presume these will be all new.
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Re: M4 Junction 3 to 12 Smart Motorway

Post by EpicChef » Wed Jul 01, 2020 18:41

A303Chris wrote:
Wed Jul 01, 2020 16:04
Given J8/9 to J5, never had an MS4 upgrade in the early 00's and was still the old MS2 matrix's in the central reserve, I would presume these will be all new.
The central reserve signals are MS1.

This is the different types:
MS1 - central reservation or lane control (non-smart)
MS2 - 2x12 VMS on lane control gantries (non-smart or older controlled motorways with hard shoulder)
MS3 - 2x12 or 3x12 verge mounted VMS, with an area to the right of the text for speed limits/lane closure/END indications (non-smart)
MS4 - Full matrix VMS - advisory/mandatory speed limits, lane closures with red X, END/NSL indication, sentence case text, red triangle signs for hazards/congestion.

The new-style gantries and MS4 signal posts are 'all-access gantries' - HE engineers can close only lane 1, climb up into the gantry and service the signal without needing to close the whole carriageway. But they look VERY bulky - way too bulky for my liking! One thing I liked about the so-called 'hockey stick' mount where the MS4 appeared to hang from the structure - in a sleek-looking manner I found oddly appealing.
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Re: M4 Junction 3 to 12 Smart Motorway

Post by jervi » Thu Jul 02, 2020 06:38

EpicChef wrote:
Wed Jul 01, 2020 18:41
The central reserve signals are MS1.

This is the different types:
MS1 - central reservation or lane control (non-smart)
MS2 - 2x12 VMS on lane control gantries (non-smart or older controlled motorways with hard shoulder)
MS3 - 2x12 or 3x12 verge mounted VMS, with an area to the right of the text for speed limits/lane closure/END indications (non-smart)
MS4 - Full matrix VMS - advisory/mandatory speed limits, lane closures with red X, END/NSL indication, sentence case text, red triangle signs for hazards/congestion.

The new-style gantries and MS4 signal posts are 'all-access gantries' - HE engineers can close only lane 1, climb up into the gantry and service the signal without needing to close the whole carriageway. But they look VERY bulky - way too bulky for my liking! One thing I liked about the so-called 'hockey stick' mount where the MS4 appeared to hang from the structure - in a sleek-looking manner I found oddly appealing.
What about these? A few of them are on the M23, are these MS5 or just a mini MS4?

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