Thirty-eight giant steel bridge beams will be lifted into place over the M1 near Dunstable during March and April as part of a £162 million road project to boost Bedfordshire’s economy.
Contractors working on behalf of Highways England will use a 1,000 tonne crane to lift the 52-metre long, 100 tonne bridge beams into place, which will act as foundations for the decks of two new bridges over the M1.
To carry out the work safely, the M1 will be closed between junctions 11 and 12 over several nights from 16 March to 9 April 2016.
Once the new beams have been installed, work can begin to construct decks for the new junction 11A interchange bridge and the new B579 Luton Road bridge.
Highways England senior project manager Anthony Johnson said: “These bridge beam lifts are an important milestone for the A5-M1 link road project, which will offer motorists better and safer journeys and help reduce congestion through Dunstable as well as unlock land for new homes and businesses.
“We will be using a large crane to lift the beams into place and it is essential we close the M1, one direction at a time and overnight only, to minimise disruption and ensure maximum safety for road workers and road users.”
The A5-M1 Link project, a new, 2.8 mile dual carriageway to improve the east-west connection between the A5 and M1, north of Dunstable, will help reduce congestion through Dunstable town centre, offering motorists better journey time reliability and safer journeys.