M1-A1 Link Road:
Two new bridges

On the existing M1 between Lofthouse and the new junction at Belle Isle, an underbridge at Thorpe Lower Lane and an overbridge at Sharpe Lane had to be replaced, working around live traffic on the motorway.

Thorpe Lower Lane

The existing bridge carrying the M1 over Thorpe Lower Lane was found to be understrength and required widening to accommodate the additional lanes from the northbound slip roads of the free flow link at the Lofthouse interchange. Since the abutments were found to be satisfactory, only the existing deck and top of abutments were demolished during closures of the motorway in April and August of 1998.

The top of the abutments required removal to accommodate the new bearing shelf, and this was carried out by drilling approximately 200 cores per abutment to facilitate demolition. The new bearing shelf features an inspection gallery to allow easy inspection of the structure. The new deck was constructed from prestressed concrete Y beams with an in-situ concrete slab supported on elastomeric bearings.

A new bridge was required at Thorpe Lower Lane to accommodate the extended southbound slip roads to Lofthouse Interchange. The bridge is of integral construction requiring no joints or bearings and the deck is formed of prestressed concrete Y beams with an in-situ concrete slab.

Sharpe Lane

This bridge was required to replace the existing structure carrying Sharpe Lane over the M1 which was too narrow to accommodate the proposed widening. The road and footpaths had to remain open throughout construction (with the exception of some short closures), and the new bridge had to be constructed on the same line as the old bridge. Therefore it was originally proposed to construct a temporary bridge alongside the existing structure which traffic would be diverted onto during demolition of the old bridge and construction of the new bridge.

However, the cost of installing, maintaining and dismantling a temporary structure proved to be so high that it was cheaper to construct the deck of the new bridge on temporary supports to the north, divert traffic onto this deck while demolition and construction of the new supports took place and then slide this new deck into position during a closure of the motorway underneath. The slide took place on 31st May 1998.

In this section

What's new

London’s other forgotten motorways

We’ve spent years documenting the unbuilt urban motorway network planned for London. Today we’re unveiling more new routes that have never been seen before!

The middle of nowhere

A national system of road numbers radiating from a central point suggests there is… well, a central point. But if you go looking for it you’ll find it doesn’t exist.

Not so Smart

There have been rumours for months. Now the announcement has been made - “all new Smart Motorways scrapped”. What does this mean and who are the winners?

Share this page

Have you seen...

Road Numbers

We'd be lost without them, but there is nothing straightforward about the seemingly simple business of giving roads a number.

About this page


Last updated