Motorists in West Yorkshire will benefit from less congested journeys after work to upgrade the M62 to a managed motorway has been completed.
The work to upgrade 15.5 miles between junction 25 at Brighouse and junction 30 at Rothwell has finished ahead of schedule and under budget.
The Highways Agency last week lifted the temporary 50mph speed restrictions, marking an end to the work which began in October 2011.
Since the work started, the agency has secured cost savings of £17m, bringing the final cost of the scheme to an expected £133m.
Roads minister Stephen Hammond said: “I am delighted that road users in West Yorkshire and beyond are able to benefit from the improvements earlier than planned, and at a lower cost to the taxpayer than originally forecast.
“This is the first motorway of its kind in the north of England, and reducing congestion on this key route will deliver significant economic benefits.”
The improvements include a range of smart technology to reduce congestion and smooth the flow of traffic.
During busy periods, operators in the regional control centre in Wakefield set overhead message signs to tell drivers they can use the hard shoulder as an extra lane, and at what speed to drive.
When the hard shoulder is not open to traffic - shown by a black signal over the lane, or a red X - it is illegal to use, unless in an emergency.
Highways Agency project manager David Pilsworth said: “The improvements we have brought to the M62 demonstrate how a smart and efficient solution can deliver the improvements that road users need: more capacity and better management of traffic to reduce congestion and make journey times more reliable.
“We worked to upgrade over 15 miles of the motorway, and with 144,000 vehicles using this stretch every day, we had the challenge of ensuring that we kept traffic moving while making sure the construction timetable was met. This makes it all the more remarkable that our contractors have been able to finish earlier than planned.”
For more information about the improvements delivered to the M62 visit: www.highways.gov.uk/managedmotorways