• Client:
    Leeds City Council
  • Location:
    Leeds
  • Contract Value:
    £1,700,000

M1 Junction 44 Pinch Point Scheme, Leeds

The scheme was necessary in order to improve access and usability of junction 44 and is part of the Governments growth initiative. The scheme comprised of the installation of all new traffic signalisation measures to better control the flow of traffic upon both north and south bound approaches. Further works also comprised of the undertaking of carriageway widening works through localised closure of parts of the roundabout.

The site lies between the junction of the A639 (Dual carriageway) and the B6481. With the existing roundabouts operating between the two with a dual carriageway linking these as well as taking traffic over the M1 via the North and South bound access and egress slip roads.

Immediately adjacent to the site focal point there was a number of manufacturing, industrial and commercial and office premises. Namely, ARLA foods and Leeds Valley Park. The scheme was required to provide improved access and usability of the junction and formed part of the national Pinch Point Programme. The programme is part of the Government’s growth initiative, which was outlined during the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement in November 2011.

Prior to the commencement of any works on the Northbound roundabout we undertook a reduced level dig excavation to cut back vegetation and maintain existing landscaped features located on the middle of the roundabout. This reduced level dig was also necessary in order to outline the proposed formation and location of the cut through road. Once the outlining works were complete extensive 3-4m excavations were undertaken to install a more robust surface water drainage system and tie it into the existing system.

The scheme comprised of carrying out the installation of all new traffic signal control and pedestrianisation measures to improve safety on all approaches accommodated with the provision of an associated cut-through road and carriageway widening on the northern A639 Stourton to A639 Rothwell connection roundabout. This was achieved via the use of localised 50m phased carriageway and kerb widening measures in accordance with partial roundabout closures where necessary.

The first phase comprised of the widening of the A639 dual carriageway at the approach to the roundabout to create 3 lanes from the existing 2 by 3m. While undertaking the road widening substantial ducting was required to install all of the required services. The second accompanying phase was carried out on Sterton Road whereby similar 3m carriageway and kerb widening and pedestrianisation works were undertaken.

The works on the Southbound roundabout, which was smaller in stature, comprised of altering its shape on one side to allow safe passage for long vehicles which involved the “pulling in” of the internal kerb line by 3m and implemented a white line zone to and provide a protection zone for the kerb line. As a result of the redesign, we undertook the 4.5m realignment of the carriageway and correction of the existing surface water drainage. We also installed all new traffic signals and associated ducting for M&E services and necessary toucan pedestrian crossings.

Upon the completion of both roundabout alterations with traffic signalisation and pedestrianisation aspects, we undertook 300m of resurfacing works to both the northbound and southbound off slip road with anti-skid surfacing. Upon completion further works also consisted of carrying out the re-doing of the ceiling joints on the motorway crossing bridge and the resurfacing of approximately 30m worth of road.

This was a complex pinch point alleviation scheme with a challenging programme and Esh Construction delivered it within the agreed timescales and budget. The nature of the works and short contract duration meant that opportunities to identify cost efficiencies and value engineering proposals were minimal.

- Richard Arnold, Project Manager, Leeds City Council

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