M1 works headache soon to be at an end

Should be com­pleted this month

Loughborough Echo - - LETTERS - JENNY MOODY

TENS of thou­sands of driv­ers will be breath­ing a sigh of re­lief with work set to be com­pleted this month on a sec­tion of the M1 which is be­ing turned into a ‘smart mo­tor­way.’

High­ways Eng­land, which is re­spon­si­ble for mo­tor­ways, plans to com­plete con­struc­tion be­tween junc­tions 23a and 25, near to East Mid­lands Air­port, in Cas­tle Don­ing­ton, as part of the £120m scheme in De­cem­ber.

The smart mo­tor­way project sees the hard shoul­der con­verted into a lane, with all lanes con­trolled by a cen­tral sys­tem with over­head gantry signs to tell driv­ers which lanes are open in the event of ac­ci­dents and other in­ci­dents.

Since the start of the project in March 2017, work has in­cluded in­stalling 35 gantries, con­struct­ing 11,000 me­tres of new con­crete bar­rier and in­stalling 3,060 me­tres of new en­vi­ron­men­tal bar­ri­ers.

In the fi­nal few months, work­men have been in­stalling the re­main­ing gantries, con­tin­u­ing with the cen­tral re­serve works in the south end of the scheme, con­tin­u­ing with tech­nol­ogy works and resur­fac­ing all lanes through­out the length of the scheme, said a spokesman.

The scheme has seen High­ways Eng­land im­prove 7.5 miles of the route in a project which aims to make jour­neys faster and more re­li­able by pro­vid­ing an ex­tra lane in each di­rec­tion, par­tic­u­larly around East Mid­lands Air­port, he said.

The M1 car­ries more than 130,000 ve­hi­cles per day be­tween Leices­ter- shire, Not­ting­hamshire and Der­byshire.

It will be up­graded to a smart mo­tor­way be­tween Dise­worth (junc­tion 23a) and Ris­ley (junc­tion 25).

The scheme will also in­tro­duce new CCTV cam­eras and elec­tronic in­for­ma­tion signs and sig­nals on gantries - these will show the vari­able manda­tory speed lim­its and man­age traf­fic flow and in­ci­dents.

Emer­gency refuge ar­eas will also be in­stalled through­out the length of the scheme with the in­stal­la­tion of a re­in­forced bar­rier and hard­ened cen­tral re­serve to fur­ther im­prove safety, he said.

The aim of the project is to re­duce con­ges­tion and make the flow of traf­fic smoother to im­prove travel times and make jour­neys more re­li­able.

It also aims to sup­port the econ­omy and fa­cil­i­tate eco­nomic growth within the re­gion by pro­vid­ing much-needed ca­pac­ity on the mo­tor­way, re­duc­ing the cost of de­lays to com­muters and busi­ness traf­fic.

It is also hoped to max­imise mo­tor­way ca­pac­ity while main­tain­ing safety on mo­tor­ways and min­imis­ing en­vi­ron­men­tal im­pacts.

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