There are more delays and diversions on the way for drivers on the M1 through Bedfordshire. The motorway is due to close for 16 hours between Junctions 11 and 13 to knock down a concrete bridge.
The closure is scheduled from 8pm on Saturday 30th June, until midday on Sunday 1st July, as workers take down the old Junction 12 bridge near Toddington in Bedfordshire.
The reinforced concrete structure, which weighes 1400-tonnes, has not been used since a new bridge opened in May. It needs to be demolished to make way for new slip roads at Junction 12, as part of the M1's J10 to J13 motorway improvement scheme.
Highways Agency project manager Lynne Stinson said: “Work on the managed motorway scheme is progressing very well and we’re delighted the first phase will be completed this summer, and that we’re on target for full scheme completion in spring 2013.
“Demolishing the bridge at Junction 12 is a big engineering feat, and the only way that we can remove it safely and quickly is by closing the motorway.
“During the weekend, we do advise that people plan ahead, leaving plenty of time for the journeys and use an alternative route to the M1 if they can.”
– Councillor Angela Barker, Chairman of Central Bedfordshire Council
"We wouldn't be doing this unless we really, really had to. So I'd just say to people, this is part of the bigger picture. Very soon, everything will be operational."
The M1 will be closed in both directions between Junctions 11 and 13. Northbound traffic will be encouraged to leave the M1 at Junction 9. Southbound traffic will be diverted from Junction 13. The Highways Agency says drivers should allow up to an hour for this diversion.
For more information on the diversion routes, visit the Highways Agency website
Video of a similar demolition on the M1 earlier in 2012.
- The old Junction 12 bridge was built in 1959 - the year the M1 first opened.
- It was designed by Sir Owen Williams and Partners.
- It is 17 metres wide and 41 metres long.
- It weighes 1400-tonnes.