M1 J24 Unique Pinch Point Scheme
A-one+ identified an innovative and sustainable improvement of the M1 at junction 24 to overcome severe congestion at the intersection which had traffic queuing on all approaches and regularly affecting the mainline M1 carriageway.
Analysis of the junction showed that heavy congestion was largely as a result of significant traffic flow from the A50 wanting to access the southbound M1 via the junction. Traffic had to circumnavigate two thirds of the circulatory creating the issue.
Our design team proposed an innovative cut-through route specifically for the traffic from the A50 to the A453 under signal control, leading to the M1 southbound at junction 23a: combined with widening the A50 southbound approach to four lanes, dedicating right turn lanes for the cut-through aiming to remove a significant percentage of traffic off the circulatory.
The design team also identified that although unconventional, it was possible to widen the carriageway on the south over bridge to achieve a three lane layout within the existing width of the bridge deck without extensive structural redesign. Creation of a kerb face in the existing concrete service bays allowed conventional kerb area to be used as a running lane.
During design phase we undertook an extensive suite of environmental surveys and investigations including; air quality, noise surveys, landscape and visual surveys, water quality modelling and water chemistry and topography, flood risk and nature conservation with habitat survey.
Environmental enhancements were incorporated into the design such as the replacement of grassland on verges with native wildflower mixes and replacing trees with native species.
The team also sourced a building under demolition nearby with approved concrete rubble that we managed to secure for embankment formation material.
The scheme received industry recognition for sustainability from CEEQUAL1 in conjunction with the
A453 dualling major project. The development received a whole project award with an excellent score of 80.4%.
The scheme was located adjacent to the on-going A453 dualling major project but deadlines for construction of the scheme could not wait for completion of that project. A-one+ liaised with major project contractor Laing O’ Rourke and Highways England and we agreed that the scheme could be completed as an addition to the existing major project with the A-one+ site manager becoming embedded within major projects delivery team.
High level integration and collaboration was undertaken with stakeholders affected such as East Midlands Airport. The needs of the airport and its operations were identified in advance ensuring minimum disruption. We also expanded the scheme to include a number of medium term proposed works to offer all stakeholders a period of calm following completions.
- Localised widening of the inner circulatory
- South A453 departure widened to three
- Signalisation and widening of the A453 north approach
- Widening the circulatory to six lanes on the west
Upgrading traffic signals to Microprocessor Optimised Vehicle Activation (MOVA) continually monitoring traffic queues dynamically adjusting timing.
Upgrading uncontrolled crossing points
The design team installed geo-cellular storage tanks underground to manage the drainage discharge within the footprint.
Evidence since completion of the scheme indicates that significantly more that 50% of the traffic has transferred to the new link. The scheme has delivered the improved traffic flows predicted and is therefore achieving its contribution to the recovery of the local economy.