M1 Improvement and widening (J10-13)

Client: Costain-Carillion JV/Highways- Agency

Value: £18.5m


  • Major motorway widening project
  • Improvement of 25km of the M1
  • 33km of stabilising and retaining structures
  • Excavation/disposal of 250,000m3 of material


The £230 million M1  improvement scheme (junctions 10 to 13) was a project focussed on the remodeling and widening of a 25km stretch of motorway between Luton and Milton Keynes.

This project, which was devised as a means of providing additional capacity for vehicles on that specific segment of road, required substantial redevelopment and stabilisation works to be undertaken safely, with as little disruption to road users as possible.


Walters UK were invited to join the Costain-Carillion team for this major motorway widening project at pre-qualification stage in 2004 and were integral in providing earthworks advice and modeling input throughout the entire ECI process.

Over 33km of stabilising and retaining structures, at approximately 650 discrete locations were constructed by Walters. By using methods such as soil nailing, soil reinforcing, reforming batters and gabions, Walters was able to maintain the structural integrity of the motorway, whilst continuing with a number of earthworks projects simultaneously.

Other earthworks undertaken by Walters include the excavation and disposal of approximately 250,000m3 of material, as well as the placing of up to 260,000m3 of various imported materials (including lightweight fill) and the placing of various geosynthetics (including biodegradable slope protection).

All work on the M1 (junctions 10-13) project were carried out under a traffic management scheme that maintained the existing number of traffic lanes on one of the busiest sections of motorway in the UK, ensuring minimum disruption to many tens of thousands of road users.

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