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M1 J10-13 Wins More Plaudits

The job may have been completed 18 months ago, but the Costain-Carillion joint venture project on the M1 Junction 10-13 Improvement Scheme keeps winning awards.

The latest to add to the trophy cabinet came from the Highway Magazine Excellence Awards ceremony, in the Major Projects category.

Costain Project Director for the job, Bruce Richards, went up with team members to collect the award at London’s Lancaster Gate Hotel from ITN newsreader Mary Nightingale.

The project, to create a stretch of managed motorway in which traffic could use the hard shoulder as an extra lane in peak periods, was accomplished while one of the UK’s busiest stretches of road remained operational. Indeed, the team was contracted to ensure that three lanes were always available at peak periods during the construction work.

The ‘smart motorway’ scheme is designed to relieve congestion by using technology to vary speed limits. It also allows the hard shoulder to be used as a running lane, when the overhead message signs indicate it is available for this purpose.

To enable this capability, 1076 loops were installed in road surface to monitor traffic flow and speed, as well as almost 300 CCTV and more than 380 electronic signs and signals on overhead gantries to impart information to drivers.

The judges commented that ‘The project was undertaken on an extremely busy highway in limited space, using innovative methods and with good stakeholder liaison.’

“One of the things that might have caught the judges’ eye was the demolition of the A5121 bridge spanning the motorway in just 16 hours,” said Bruce. “We submitted a time-lapse video of that – which you can see on You Tube, entitled ‘How to demolish a bridge over the M1.’”

Another possible factor behind the success of the project was the presence of a dedicated Public Liaison Manager: “We were very upfront and proactive in our dealings with councils at all levels, from county to parish, to make them aware of what was going on and informing local people of works that may affect them.”

The extremely restricted, linear nature of the worksite also required careful planning to ensure supplies could be moved in and out of the works.

“We were delighted with the latest award. The team did a great job.”

As well as a series of awards for the construction achievement, the project also won a RoSPA Gold Medal, after five consecutive years of achieving Gold Award status.

The managed motorway capability of Junctions 10-13 became fully operational and opened to traffic in December 2012 and Costain received the formal certificate of completion the following year. Road works remained at the site until summer 2013 in order to complete residual project work and to replace the posts in sections of the central reservation, which were nearing the end of their natural lives.


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