Walters, working in partnership with a Carillion/Costain Joint Venture, have been successful in securing another major highways scheme for Highways England, the A5 to M1 link.
The £160 million project will see the construction of a new dual carriageway running east from the A5 north of Dunstable to join the M1 at a new junction 11a and its award follows on from the successful upgrade of the M1 between junctions 10 and 13, completed by the same construction team.
The A5 provides a route from Milton Keynes to the M1, passing through the built-up area of Dunstable, an area that often experiences severe traffic congestion. Construction will take approximately 2½ years and the scheme objectives include reducing journey times and improving journey time reliability, relieving Dunstable of significant congestion and providing a link between the M1 and the A5 that will facilitate economic development and jobs growth in the Central Bedfordshire area.
The Walters earthworks modelling team were involved fully throughout the ECI design period and were instrumental in achieving the twin objectives of eliminating off-site disposal of unsuitable material and removing the requirement to import over 100,000m3 of suitable fill.
Update from Highways England:
The 2.8 mile dual carriageway A5-M1 Link (Dunstable Northern Bypass) has now opened to traffic and will become part of the A5.
The M1, which has had lane restrictions during the construction of the new road, has also now been restored to full capacity, including the use of the hard shoulder as a traffic lane at peak times. The national speed limit will apply on the new, dualled section of the A5.
The new M1 junction 11A is also open and will connect the new road and Central Bedfordshire Council”s new Woodside Link road to the M1. The road layout has changed with the introduction of new slip roads and the new junction. With the renewed use of the hard shoulder as a traffic lane, overhead message signs on the M1 will also start displaying variable speed limit messages instead of the temporary 50 mph speed.
The new road replaces a section of the A5 through Dunstable which is being handed over to Central Bedfordshire Council and Hertfordshire County Council.