Austen Shakespeare

£72m government funding for M6 maintenance announced

Birmingham will benefit from £72m in government funding for maintenance work on a road link between the city centre and the M6.

The project aims to provide a boost to the local economy and help the region continues to build back better from the pandemic.

Following years of use and carrying 80,000 vehicles a day in and out of Birmingham city centre – including 900 buses and roughly 8,000 heavy goods vehicles (HGVs) – the Tame Valley Viaduct, which forms the northern section of the Aston Expressway, is starting to show signs of deterioration.

This significant, multimillion-pound investment by the government will ensure the link remains open for years to come. Maintaining the link’s future will also support and uphold access to other initiatives in the region, including the Birmingham City Centre Enterprise Zone, HS2 Curzon Street rail station and the Food Hub in Witton.

Transport Minister Baroness Vere said: “This viaduct is the lifeblood of Birmingham, carrying tens of thousands of vehicles in and out of the city centre every single day and connecting it to the surrounding motorways and the rest of the country.

“We recognise its importance and that’s why we’re investing such a significant amount of money – £72 million – to safeguard the future of the structure and keep local supply chains and public transport services running smoothly.

Baroness Vere concluded: “This is further good news for the region following our Integrated Rail Plan, which will see quicker and easier journeys between Nottingham and Birmingham. We’ll continue to level up transport across the country, support local economies and build back better.

“Without government funding, the viaduct is expected to need weight and width restrictions within a few years and, over time, the link could potentially face full closure.

Proposals involve major strengthening and refurbishment works on the viaduct, ensuring it can continue to carry heavy vehicles. It will remain open to traffic throughout the duration of works.

There are also plans to apply a protective anti-corrosion paint system to the structure alongside other general refurbishments, preserving the longevity of the viaduct and minimising the need for future work. The scheme is set to be carried out in 2022 and will take almost 5 years to complete.

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