JUNCTION 11 on the M5 has reopened after 18-months of upgrade work.
The junction, which links the motorway and the A40 Golden Valley Bypass, has been partially closed while a major upgrade of two bridges was carried out.
Throughout the works, motorists have not been able to drive around the roundabout, and have only been able to access the A40 and M5 from certain directions.
This has caused inconvenient and sometimes long diversions for motorists, especially those living in Cheltenham and Gloucester.
Essential repair work on the 50-year-old structures supporting the M5 junction 11 Golden Valley gyratory started in September 2020.
The National Highways’ refurbishment scheme involved complex repairs and deep excavations to the two main supporting bridges between Gloucester and Cheltenham.
The majority of work took place on the M5 north to south bridges, but repairs were also carried out to the A40 east to west bridge decks, and during the programme, National Highways took the opportunity to carry out further maintenance, including vegetation clearance and signage cleaning, during the closures.
The £12 million refurbishment work included the removal and reconstruction of a number of walls, concrete repairs to the bridge decks, replacement of bridge bearings, removal and reconstruction of parapet beams and safety fencing, and waterproofing and entire resurfacing of the gyratory carriageway and footpath.
And during the 18-month programme of work the gyratory was fully closed for safety reasons, although drivers were still able to join and leave the M5 via the slip roads.
Mark Fox, National Highways’ south west head of scheme delivery, said: “Despite Covid restrictions earlier in the project, and some challenging weather conditions over the last 18 months, the scheme has been managed fantastically start to finish by both ourselves and our supply chain who have ensured we have finished on schedule.
“We appreciate that roadworks can be frustrating, we made every effort to ensure the impact on the local community was kept to an absolute minimum, and we’d like to thank motorists for their patience while this vital improvement scheme was carried out.”