M4 works compound aerial photo
December 2016
March 2022
M4 junctions 3 to 12

VGC is heavily involved in the £848 million capacity upgrade of the M4 motorway.

Our teams are working on all aspects of the project including vegetation clearance, enabling works on the verges, drainage, structures, concreting the temporary crash barrier and work on the central reservation. Teams will later move to installation of cats eyes, tarmac, cabling and ducting as well as structural builds including formwork and steelwork for gantry and bridge bases.

As well as skilled trades and labour, VGC has provided the administration, technical and engineering staff.

Almost all of the people we’re providing on the project are local, living along the M4 route.

M4 junction 3 Windsor Bridge trial holes
Windsor bridge trial holes

VGC Projects facilitated key vegetation clearance along the route, and assisted with testing an innovative prefabricated emergency refuge area. Working offsite, we installed a test slab at a site in Gloucestershire, trialling a new modular unit technique which is expected to save considerable time and money on the project.

Eleven bridges over the motorway need to be replaced to make room for a new lane where there is no existing hard shoulder, and four more will be widened. VGC Projects carried out deep trial hole investigations to confirm the size of the Windsor bridge foundations before widening works.

plant vehicle marshall training M4
HSQE manager Richard Wheeler delivers plant vehicle marshal training on this project, working in partnership with Zone Recruitment, Danny Sullivan Group and Fortel.

This Highways England project will improve the M4 by making it a smart motorway.

The M4 carries an average of 130,000 vehicles a day, and this section of the motorway is frequently congested. New signs and signals will be used to vary the speed limit to reduce congestion at busy times. They will also control traffic if there is an obstruction on the road ahead. In the longest smart motorway project in England to date (51km), the motorway will be widened to four lanes in both directions. The hard shoulder will be removed and there will be adjustments to slip roads and motorway intersections between junctions 3 (Hayes) and 12 (Theale).

New signage and smart technology will enable proactive management of the motorway in the event of heavy traffic or accidents.

The project is being managed by a JV of Taylor Woodrow, Vinci Construction Grands Projets and Balfour Beatty.

Read more on the Highways England website.