The £373m project to upgrade the M1 in Northamptonshire to a smart motorway continues to make progress, with local contractor Mick George Ltd now appointed to complete verge enabling works in a £31m contract.
Under the programme, the 23-mile section of M1 between junctions 13 and 16 will be upgraded to an all-lane running smart motorway, providing a continuous smart motorway from the M25 all the way through to junction 19 at Catthorpe.
The scheme, operated by Costain / Galliford Try joint venture on behalf of Highways England is thought to be vital in easing congestion on this stretch of motorway, which passes through Bedfordshire and Northamptonshire, connecting Bedford, Milton Keynes and Northampton.
Consequently, this key arterial route in England will offer increased capacity and more reliable journey times for the hundreds-of-thousands of people that use the M1 every day.
Forecast to be complete in March 2022, the initiative is thought to offer approximate benefits valued at £959m to the local economy, though boosting productivity and supporting future housing developments.
The programme of works between junction 13 and junction 16 includes; the installation of a rigid concrete barrier to avert vehicle cross-overs from opposite sides of the carriageway, upgrading to four lanes running with no hard shoulder, as well as the fitting of 38 new emergency areas and emergency roadside telephones.
Additional improvements include hardening of the central reserve and the formation of wide gantries to support variable speed limit and travel information.
Michael George, Managing Director at Mick George Ltd commented: ‘’The award of this contract is an exciting one for the business as it represents the first opportunity for us to display our Earthworks services in a live highways environment.’’
George continued: ‘’We’re currently providing some of our other contracting provisions to another significant highways project on the A14 Huntingdon to Cambridge scheme, and the fact that we’ve been selected to contribute towards this project in tandem, is a testament to the qualities we’ve produced elsewhere.’’