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  1. ITV Report

500 explosives demolish old bridge over M1

The bridge as it stood before the demolition Photo: Highways Agency

A 2,800 tonne bridge spanning the M1 was demolished on Saturday night, leaving space for a new link road between the M6 and the A14.

The old M6 bridge over the M1 at the Catthorpe Interchange was 80 metres long and weighed more than the Blackpool Tower. It took more than 500 explosives for the Highways Agency to bring it down.

The dust cloud created by the explosion Credit: Highways Agency

The work was part of the M1 junction 19 improvement scheme. Designed by Sir Owen Williams and Partners, the bridge was constructed in 1971. It was supported on 28 large concrete columns and two concrete abutments.

The rubble created by the demolition will be re-used to make the new junction Credit: Highways Agency

The bridge needed to be safely and quickly removed causing as least disruption to road users as possible.

After making 560 holes into the supporting columns of the bridge and filling them with 140 kilograms of explosives, we detonated the explosives, dramatically dropping the bridge deck onto a protective mat, made up of 1000 tonnes of recycled crushed concrete.

All demolition material will now be crushed on site and re-used for constructing the new junction, which will ease congestion at the Catthorpe junction and improve journey times for road users.

– Ivan Marriott, Highways Agency Project Manager