M1 road closures near Sheffield from next week to install giant gantries
Overnight road closures are planned on the M1 near Sheffield from Monday. Eight ‘superspan’ gantries that will display message and variable speed limit signs are to be installed between Junction 32 for the M18 and Junction 34 for Meadowhall over a two-week period.
The work is part of the ‘smart motorway’ project which is permanently converting the hard shoulder between junction 32 of the M1 at Rotherham and junction 35a at Stocksbridge into an extra running lane and using technology to monitor traffic levels and keep vehicles moving by using variable speed limits.
Work will take place between 9pm and 6am on six different nights in the next fortnight. The gantries – which will span both the northbound and southbound carriageways – are approximately 45 metres wide, weigh up to 30 tonnes.
A special 200 tonne crane is required to install them. The first two gantries will be installed overnight on Monday 15 and Tuesday August 16 between junction 33 (Doncaster) and junction 34. To carry out the work, lanes two and three on the northbound carriageway and all three lanes on the southbound carriageway will be closed, with traffic travelling on the hard shoulder.
Traffic will be temporarily stopped while the lift is undertaken. A further six gantries between junctions 32 and 33 will be installed over four nights starting on Monday 22 August.
The southbound carriageway will be fully closed along with lanes two and three on the northbound carriageway. Highways England project manager Arun Sahni said: “The erection of a ‘superspan’ is a big job that calls for overnight closures, but then they’re very big structures. You really get a sense of their size when they are on the ground waiting to go up. “