Roadworks that have caused traffic woe for motorists on a busy part of the M4 are set to finish soon.

National Highways has confirmed that the safety improvement scheme that has been ongoing for the past 14 months on a six-mile section of motorway around the Almondsbury interchange is set to be removed ahead of Easter. 

The work, on the M4 between junctions 19 and 20 for Bristol and on the M5 between junctions 16 and 17 at Cribbs Causeway, included upgrading a four-mile section of existing steel barrier to concrete in the central reservation of the M4 around the Almondsbury interchange and building three new emergency areas on the M5.

Nick Wells, who is overseeing the upgrades for National Highways, said: “Safety is our number one priority and we’re delighted to be approaching completion on these improvement works.

“Upgrading these barriers will improve journeys and significantly reduce the risk of vehicles crossing over from one carriageway to another, improving safety and reducing the duration of incident-related congestion.

“Road users will soon benefit from the range of measures implemented on this scheme which is part of a wider programme of work to further enhance safety on existing dynamic hard shoulder motorways.”

The scheme is being delivered by SMP Alliance for National Highways.

Darren Lindsay, SMP Alliance’s M4/M5 project manager with on-site assembly partner Balfour Beatty, said: “We are thrilled to see the opening of the improved M4 ahead of the busy Easter weekend.

“Working closely with National Highways, SMP Alliance’s team of collaborative experts worked tirelessly to efficiently deliver safety enhancements across this stretch of the motorway, including upgrades to the central reserve drainage system, barrier and lighting.” 

This work is part of National Highways’ commitment to make England’s smart motorways safer and improve confidence in them.

The M4/M5 Interchange is a dynamic hard shoulder section of the motorway – this means the hard shoulder is used as a traffic lane at busy times.

While the work to enhance the M5 is almost complete, maintenance projects to refurbish two bridges between junctions 15 and 16 on the M5 will continue until the summer.

The bridges on the M5 at junctions 15 and 16 (Almondsbury and Patchway) are now more than 50 years old and need waterproofing, surfacing, expansion joints and repairs to the concrete to maintain them for the long term.

To avoid another 12 months of roadworks, the refurbishment work was scheduled at the same time as the safety enhancement works.