Work to turn part of the M23 around Gatwick into a ‘smart motorway’ has reached a ‘significant milestone’, Highways England has said.
The multi-million-pound project aims to reduce congestion and help speed up journeys on an 11-mile section of the motorway.
Work on the upgrade started in June last year, and the first stage will be open for traffic next spring, Highways England said.
David Macleod, Highways England’s project manager for the M23, said: “We are making good progress on this vital upgrade for the M23. Already, we have strengthened and prepared the hard shoulder for use as a new traffic lane and are starting to install the new technology infrastructure along the motorway verges.
“Work continues on the hard shoulder, but we are also switching to the central reserve by installing a new concrete barrier, which is far safer, stronger and longer lasting than the metal one it replaces.
“The M23 is a crucial part of the UK strategic road network connecting Crawley and Gatwick Airport to the M25 motorway, routes into London and the rest of the UK.
“This marks a significant milestone for this strategically and economically important scheme and we’re on schedule to open the improved motorway to traffic by spring next year.”
Construction on the motorway will start switching from the road’s verges and into the central reservation, so the project team can continue to work to add extra lanes and new congestion-busting technology.
The switch will be carried out with a series of closures starting next week, Highways England said.
The southbound M23 will be closed between junction 8 at Mersham and junction 10 for Copthorne overnight for four nights from Monday (October 21), between 9pm until 5am each night.
A fully signed diversion will be in place via junction 6 Godstone of the M25, A22, A264 and join the M23 at junction 10.
Drivers are being advised to allow extra time for their journeys if they are using the road while diversion are in place, and to drive with extra care as the road layout changes.