M5 Oldbury roadworks hit by further delays

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The M5 currentlyImage source, Highways England
Image caption,
The work began in 2017 and was initially meant to be completed by October 2018

Work to repair a stretch of the M5 in the West Midlands has been hit by further delays.

Repairs to Oldbury Viaduct along a two-mile stretch of the M5 were due to be finished by autumn 2018.

But Highways England said it was delayed after the number of repairs needed had quadrupled from 3,000 to 12,000.

The work is now expected to be completed later this year.

It is one of the UK's busiest stretches of motorway, serving thousands of drivers travelling to the south west.

So far, 8,000 repairs have been made to concrete on the southbound carriageway alone.

Work on the stretch between junction two and one for Oldbury and West Bromwich began in 2017 and was meant to be finished by October last year.

Image source, Highways England
Image caption,
Workers will have made 12,000 repairs by the time the work is finished

Highways England then encountered its first delay and said it hoped all the repairs would be completed by spring this year.

However, workers have since discovered more issues required repair than originally thought, with a Highways England spokesman comparing the work to "pulling back the carpet to view the floorboards underneath".

Currently, a 30mph speed limit is in place along a contraflow between junction two and one, but this is expected to be removed by the summer when two lanes in each direction are hoped to be operational.

Three lanes in each direction will not be running until at least autumn.

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