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17 June 2015, 06:17
The construction of a new junction on the M1 near Dunstable in Bedfordshire starts today.
The new junction – junction 11A – will be located just to the south of Toddington services and is part of a new £161m link road between the A5 and the M1 that will help to unlock growth and reduce congestion in the area.
Work on the link road began in March, and construction of the new junction will start on Wednesday 17 June.
Highways England project manager Karen Green said: “This junction is a vital part of this significant road improvement. The new link road will be a major new bypass for Dunstable, reducing congestion and improving safety on the A5, and reducing pressure on the A5 through Dunstable town centre. Work on the project is progressing well.
“To build the junction we will need roadworks on the M1 between junctions 11 and 12, but we are working closely with our contractor and local partners to ensure disruption to road users during this work is kept to a minimum.”
Roads Minister Andrew Jones said: “As part of our long-term economic plan we’re committed to the biggest investment in roads in a generation.
“It’s vital we use our transport infrastructure to create jobs and make it easier for people to see their family and friends. The £2 billion we are investing in the East of England will ease congestion and make journeys quicker across the region, as well as creating an estimated 1,000 construction jobs.”
Once completed in spring 2017, the link road, a new 2.8 mile dual carriageway, will improve the east-west connection between the A5 and M1. Earlier this year, Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin attended the official start of works ceremony for the £162.1 million scheme.
While the new junction is being built, lane 3 on the M1 will be closed between junctions 11 and 12 in both directions. Three lanes will remain open, with traffic running on the hard shoulder and lanes 1 and 2. The roadworks, including safety barriers, signs, CCTV and average speed cameras, will stay in place throughout the junction construction work, which will be carried out in phases and should be finished in spring 2017 as the scheme nears completion.
The roadworks will be installed overnight between Wednesday 17 June and Monday 22 June, between 9pm and 6am each night, using temporary lane closures and a reduced 50mph speed limit. Work will start on the northbound carriageway, before moving to the southbound carriageway.
To register for updates, visit http://www.highways.gov.uk/roads/road-projects/A5-M1-Link-Dunstable-Northern-Bypass or call the Highways England Customer Contact Centre on 0300 123 5000.
You can also watch a video simulation of the scheme at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dFWml3nulHQ#t=66