Main construction on the £174m project to upgrade the M3 in Surrey and Hampshire to a smart motorway has been completed.
Overnight on Friday 30 June, the last of the cones were removed and a new fourth lane is now open for traffic in both directions. Work to test and commission the new smart motorway technology will continue for a short period, with the fully upgraded road opening to traffic later in July. A 50mph limit is in place for safety reasons while this work is carried out.
Highways England project manager Pranav Devale said, “I am delighted that we’ve opened this vital motorway upgrade on time. This new stretch of smart motorway will tackle congestion and improve journey times for the 130,000 drivers who use it every day.
“Smart motorways add vital extra capacity, improve journey times and maintain high levels of safety. Drivers will also see better information about conditions on the road ahead and enjoy smoother journeys on the fully resurfaced road – as well as the smart motorway upgrade, we have also been carrying out the most extensive maintenance on the M3 since it was first built in 1971 in parallel with the smart motorway works.”
The upgrade has converted the hard shoulder of a 13.4 mile section of the M3 between Farnborough and the M25 to an extra traffic lane, which is designed to make the road more resilient to disruption, improving journeys by using variable speed limits that will help tackle stop-start traffic and giving drivers better information on conditions ahead.