VGC is providing staff for the smart motorway upgrade of the M23 between junction 8 at Merstham and junction 10 at Copthorne.
Our involvement with the project started with vegetation clearance along the verge. This was needed to make space for new retaining walls, noise barriers, gantries and emergency refuge areas.
We then moved on to other works including battering the verges and banks, block lifting and placing for retaining walls, piling and drainage. Further works include upgrading the hard shoulder and creating the emergency refuge areas (12 along the route) and reinforcing the central reservation.
The next challenge will be erecting the new information gantries and associated cable management.
Labour manager Mark Beer has been involved in this project since the start. He supports a team of on average 30 workers. He, ganger Matt Ducker and HSQE adviser Ben Keegan, are trained MHFA England mental health first aider (training sponsored by Kier). VGC’s mental health first aiders, together with 35 trained mental health champions, help support our people’s wellbeing, part of our ‘We look after each other’ corporate value.
About the M23 smart motorway upgrade
The project is being carried out by client Kier on behalf of Highways England. It will ease congestion on this busy 11-mile stretch of the M23 and link roads to the junctions, including the Gatwick airport spur road.
It involves widening the motorway at critical points and upgrading it to a smart motorway with four lanes throughout. The junctions are being adjusted accordingly.
As well as upgrading the hard shoulder to a permanent running lane, the project will upgrade the gantries for electronic information signs and signals and CCTV cameras.