TRAFFIC: M1 closures in Bedfordshire ahead of bridge demolitions

The two new bridges over the M1next to the old Luton Road and Sundon Road bridges which are now ready for demolition

The two new bridges over the M1next to the old Luton Road and Sundon Road bridges which are now ready for demolition

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Two bridges over the M1 near Dunstable will be demolished in September as part of the A5-M1 Link scheme, a £162 million road project to boost Bedfordshire’s economy.

The demolition, which will take place during full closures of the M1 over two weekends in September, follows the construction of two new bridges over the M1.

Starting at 8pm on Saturday 10 September with the old B579 Luton Road bridge, which has been closed for almost a year now, contractors will work throughout the weekend on behalf of Highways England to demolish the structure, clear the debris and prepare the M1 for reopening on Sunday September 11 at 2pm.

The demolition of the old Houghton Road bridge will follow the same pattern starting at 8pm on Saturday September 24 and completing by 2pm on Sunday September 25.

Highways England project manager Karen Green, said: “We will be using hydraulic breakers to demolish the bridges, which will create a lot of rubble, so it is essential we close the M1 to ensure maximum safety for road workers and road users. We have worked with Central Bedfordshire Council and other stakeholders to ensure we minimise disruption during the work.

“Drivers are advised to allow extra time for their journeys as the M1 between junctions 11 and 12 will be closed in both directions during the work. Significant delays are expected so drivers are advised to consider alternative routes if possible.”

Detailed and updated information about the closures will be published every Friday in the East Planned Roadworks Weekly Summary on Highways England’s website.

The A5-M1 Link project, a new 2.8 mile dual carriageway north of Dunstable to improve the east-west connection between the A5 and M1, will help reduce congestion through Dunstable town centre, offering motorists faster and safer journeys.

The £162.1m, award-winning project includes the building of a completely new dualled road, three new junctions including a new motorway junction, and six new bridges.

Delivering the scheme will unlock up to 40 hectares of land for businesses and provide the infrastructure for 7,000 homes to be built to the north of Houghton Regis. They will also provide better access to the M1 and reduce congestion in Dunstable.

For the latest information and to register for updates about the A5-M1 Link scheme, visit: http://www.highways.gov.uk/roads/road-projects/A5-M1-Link-Dunstable-Northern-Bypass