Roads Minister Robert Goodwill has approved a £190 million project that will see Skanska start work on the M1 junction improvement scheme in January 2014.
The scheme near Catthorpe, in Leicestershire, will reduce congestion and improve journey time reliability and safety by replacing the existing junction with a three-level junction and improving roads between the villages of Catthorpe and Swinford so local traffic can avoid the junction.
Currently, junction 19 suffers from congestion and delays, especially at peak periods. The project will lead to improved safety and journey reliability, separating local traffic from long-distance traffic.
Robert Goodwill said: “The 142,000 vehicles that pass through Catthorpe junction every day demonstrate how important this route is.
“However, the current layout of Catthorpe is unable to meet this demand, giving rise to congestion, delays, accidents and conflict between local and longer-distance traffic. Without improvement these problems will get worse.
“This shows our commitment to deliver much need improvements to England’s infrastructure.”
The contract is worth £128.5 million with target completion of the project set for autumn/winter 2016-17.
Skanska executive vice-president Bill Hocking said: “This is a complex project at the intersection of two major motorways and we are delighted to agree the final target cost with the Highways Agency. We are looking forward to working with the Highways Agency and starting on site in January.”
The Highways Agency is holding public information exhibitions at Swinford Village Hall, Chapel Street, Swinford, LE17 6AZ on Friday 10 January from 2pm to 8pm and on Saturday 11 January from 10am to 4pm for people to find out more about the scheme.