Balfour Beatty began work yesterday on the £78m scheme to allow hard should running around the M4/M5 motorway interchange, near Bristol.
It is the first managed motorways scheme in the South West and will employ innovative technology and new operating procedures to actively control and improve traffic flow.
Balfour Beatty will work on junctions 19-20 on the M4 and junctions 15-17 on the M5 to allow the Highways Agency to introduce variable mandatory speed limits and open up the hard shoulder to traffic during periods of exceptionally heavy traffic.
The job includes building several emergency stopping points along the route.
The Government has committed to start work on 11 managed motorway schemes by 2015. This work will be handled by the four delivery partners: Balfour Beatty; BAM Nuttall/Morgan Sindall; Carillion; and Costain/Serco.