M65 Construction Photos

How do you build a motorway? If you've ever wondered how it's done, or what goes on during the years it takes to build a new road, then here's a chance to see it first hand.

The project to build the M65 between junctions 1A (Bamber Bridge, south of Preston) and 3 (Riley Green, near Blackburn) ran from 1994 to 1997, and was documented with scores of aerial photographs, taken every three months while the works were happening. That's unusual enough; what's remarkable is that you can see the full archive of 466 photographs here, and search through them to see indicidual structures being built and construction processes taking place as the motorway evolves.

On this page you can search through the photographs and use a map view to see the layout of the scheme and the most-photographed viewpoints. If you don't know where to start, try the highlights. You can also get to grips with the history of completing the M65, and read about the photos themselves.

This map shows the whole length of the works seen in these photographs and labels all the structures and other roads around it.

Click one of the red markers to see all pictures taken from that viewpoint. The red markers show all the most-photographed views of the construction works. These are the places where you can find a whole series of pictures showing the construction of a particular feature. Not all the photographs are found on this map: there are 86 different viewpoints in the full set, of which only the most common appear here.

Scroll this map horizontally to see the whole map

Bamber Bridge roundabout, view southTerminal roundabout, view eastTerminal roundabout, view northM6 interchange, view southM6 interchange, view eastM6 interchange and Cuerden footbridge, view northM6 interchange, view westCuerden embankment, view northA6 overbridge, view northA6 overbridge, view westView west from Tramway Lane underbridgeM61 interchange and Brindle Road overbridge, view southM61 interchange, wide view northM61 interchange, view westHill House Farm and Sandy Lane overbridges, view eastSandy Lane overbridge, view northView west from Marsh Lane to Sandy LaneLeeds-Liverpool Canal underbridge, view eastLeeds-Liverpool Canal underbridge, view northView west from Leeds-Liverpool Canal underbridge to Sandy LaneView east from Brimmicroft overbridge to Riley GreenRiley Green interchange, view north eastRiley Green interchange, view south westRiley Green interchange, view westView east from Riley Green interchange to Stanworth rock cuttingStanworth rock cutting, view eastStanworth rock cutting, view west