Upgrade of the M1 between junctions 13 (Ridgmont, south of Milton Keynes) and 16 (Upper Heyford, west of Northampton) to Smart Motorway standard. The scheme will feature All Lane Running, meaning the hard shoulder will be converted into a fourth permanent traffic lane throughout.
The scheme will complete the Smart Motorway on the M1 between the M25 and M6, though as the adjoining sections are older this part will be notably simpler to use than the others. In particular the section south from Milton Keynes to Luton operates with part-time hard shoulder running and complex through-junction running on the hard shoulder at various times of day, and it may prove even harder than at present for drivers to understand the changing rules regarding the hard shoulder when passing from one section to another.
At 37 km (27 miles) this is one of the longest stretches of road to be converted to Smart Motorway in a single scheme.
This scheme is part of the Smart Motorways programme of works.
Advance works for the scheme started on the 22nd of January 2018. These advance works include some vegetation and tree clearance work between junction 13, near Brogborough, and Tathall End, to the north of junction 14, in various locations over a 3 month period until the end of March 2018.
Work is well underway now on the section of central reservation between south of junction 14 and junction 15. They've removed the existing steel barrier to junction 15 and excavated the centre of the motorway, and are installing additional drainage, resurfacing and fitting the new concrete central reservation barrier between junction 14 and Wolverton Road, Newport Pagnell.
The central concrete barrier is now complete through the entire length of the scheme. (The section between J15-J16 was added as part of a previous maintenance scheme, while that between J13-J15 has been completed as part of the current works). Work is now proceeding in the verges, progressing gradually from the southern end northwards. The speed limit at the southern end (more advanced section) of the works is 60mph, dropping back to 50mph along the more northerly section. However, no work (other than the completed central barrier) appears as yet to be taking place between J15-16.