05 July 2012
Contractors worked solidly for 15 and a half hours last weekend to demolish a 1,400t bridge across the M1 in England and then to reopen the motorway.
The reinforced concrete bridge used to carry the old A5120 over the M1 and had not been used since a new bridge opened in May. It needed to be demolished to make way for new slip roads at Junction 12, as part of the M1 J10 to J13 managed motorway scheme. The work, which was carried out by hydraulic breakers, dictated that the M1 had to be closed in both directions between Junctions 11 and 13. The Highways Agency was able to reopen the M1 northbound ahead of schedule at 11.30am, with the southbound re-opened soon after.
"The demolition of the old bridge was an essential part of the managed motorway scheme, and the closures meant that our workers were able to concentrate on doing a fantastic job in demolishing the structure as quickly and as safely as possible,” said Highways Agency project manager Lynne Stinson.
The M1 J10-13 scheme will be the first managed motorway in the East of England region. Managed motorways use a range of technology combined with new operating procedures to control traffic flow. Techniques such as varying the speed limits and opening up the hard shoulder to traffic are used with the aim of improving traffic flow and reducing congestion.The contract was awarded to Costain-Carillion JV in September 2005 as an early contractor involvement (ECI) scheme. The cost estimate range for the scheme is between a minimum of US$644m and a maximum of US$788m. The scheme started in December 2009 and is due to be fully completed in spring 2013.