Birmingham will be "open for business" during this year's M6 roadworks - but transport chiefs admitted they were praying for the sun to keep shining.
Representatives from the Highways Agency, Birmingham City Centre Partnership and the city council launched a joint campaign yesterday to dispel fears that commuters face five months of chaos.
However, Highways Agency project manager Sarah Churchill warned bad weather could delay the work - already due to finish close to the Christmas shopping period.
"We are committed as best we can to finish in early December," she said. "But we can't do anything about the weather; unfortunately, the work is very dependent on it. All we can do is pray for sunshine."
The #12 million project - the second stage of a blitz on potholes - will see the closure of the slip road leading to the A38 Aston Expressway from the M6 northbound carriageway, the A38 slip road heading towards the southbound M6 and the slip road at Junction 9.
Two years ago pothole repairs were carried out on the northbound carriageway between Junctions 6 and 5 (Bromford viaduct) and southbound between Junctions 8 and 9 (Rayhall Viaduct). The city council said the impact this summer would be minimised with diversions and traffic management systems.
"Birmingham is one of the most accessible cities in Europe and we will be providing alternative routes for drivers," said Neil Dancer, chief highways engineer for Birmingham City Council.
"The diversions will be clearly signposted and people will find other direct routes into the city using the ring roads."
Mr Dancer said major works would coincide with the school holidays, reducing traffic during the difficult 'settling in' week.
"July 3 is when the city will sense the roadworks in a big way," he said. "But, being in the school holidays, the heart of the rush will not exist. Of course, this is a busy city for traffic, but Birmingham drivers are quick to catch on and I think things will settle within a week as people find alternative routes," he said.
Jonathan Cheetham, chair of Birmingham City Partnership and general manager of the Pallasades shopping centre, expects shoppers to continue visiting the city and predicted that the retail trade was unlikely to be affected.
"We have been in close liaison with the Highways Agency and they have delayed the road closures until after the summer sales get under way," he said. "Transport agencies have placed extra vehicles on some routes."
Mr Cheetham claimed negative reports during the 2004 works were primarily responsible for keeping shoppers away.
"Everyone was saying it would be chaos, but even during those works I believe Birmingham was far easier to access than cities such as Nottingham, Leicester and Liverpool."
Meanwhile, commuters are urged to switch to public transport. Councillor Gary Clarke, chairman of regional body Centro-PTA, said: "During the road works it will be one way to avoid frustrating traffic jams and save time on journeys."