Dunstable A5-M1 Woodside Link
Roads Minister, Andrew Jones, was back in Dunstable today to mark the first anniversary of the start of major construction works on the M1- A5 and Woodside link roads.
The Vine Magazine was there to hear him talk about the progress of the schemes and travel along the completed (and some less completed) sections on a guided tour.
The progress made so far is impressive and the projects are on target to meet the predicted Spring 2017 completion deadline. Mr Jones said “I am very impressed with this very exciting project, things are clearly going very well, every thing is on schedule and on budget.”
He went on to say “Dunstable residents have had to put up with all sorts of congestion and all the things that come with that – unpredictable journeys, poor air quality etc.” He believes that the link roads will play a key part in “solving the traffic problem that has been Dunstable.” and went on to say “We are determined to deliver better journeys and the infrastructure that will allow the economy to grow in Bedfordshire. He added that “creating a strategic route, east to west, opens up large amount of land for development, both for residential and commercial use.”
“We are investing £15billion nationally to improve our roads, and this project is an important part of that. It is pleasing to see the progress that has been made with the A5-M1 and Woodside link schemes which will lay the ground for new businesses to thrive and homes to be built for hard-working people.”
Seeing the link road first hand and from this perspective, it’s clear to see how each piece of the project is going to be beneficial and play a part in the revitalization of our town and the surrounding villages.
Councillor. Nigel Young was also in attendance providing key facts about the progress made so far and the overall aims of the £200million scheme. He told us “The Woodside Link is the key piece of the regeneration jigsaw bringing jobs, homes and opportunities to the area. I’m pleased to see it is on schedule to open in spring 2017.”
Delivering the schemes will unlock up to 40 hectares of land for businesses and provide the infrastructure for 7,000 homes to be built to the north of Houghton Regis. They will also provide better access to the M1 and reduce congestion in Dunstable.
Constructions milestones achieved so far on the A5-M1 link include starting work on the layout for the new M1 junction 11A, with new roundabouts and bridges, as well as the rebuilding of the B579 Luton Road East and West to align it with junction 11A. Work on the link road itself has progressed well too, with drainage, fencing and some of the foundations and surfacing completed so far. And work on the new A5 roundabout has started too.
Highways England project manager Karen Green said “We have achieved a lot in the A5-M1 Link’s first year of construction and the scheme continues to progress well and on schedule.
“We continue to work closely with Central Bedfordshire Council to ensure both projects progress alongside and to minimise disruption to users.
“Once opened, we anticipate that both schemes together will provide significant improvements in terms of journey time reliability and safety for long distance and local traffic. Local communities will also see pressure easing on their local roads as more traffic will be using the new routes.”
Key Facts And Aims
The A5-M1 Link project is a new, 2.8 mile dual carriageway to improve the east-west connection between the A5 and M1, north of Dunstable, will help reduce congestion through Dunstable town centre, offering motorists better journey time reliability and safer journeys.
The £162.1m, award-winning project includes the building of a completely new dualled road, three new junctions including a new motorway junction, and six new bridges.
The £38.3m Woodside Link project will connect the industrial areas of Houghton Regis and Dunstable to a new M1 junction 11a. It is already attracting new businesses to the area. When open the 1.8 mile road will also reduce congestion on local roads and improve air quality.
The 2.8 mile A5-M1 Link scheme is being delivered by Highways England, while the 1.8 mile Woodside Link project is being completed by Central Bedfordshire Council.
The scheme will improve safety by improving the standard of the route and reducing the overall through trips from Dunstable.
The scheme will improve crossing facilities of the M1 for non-motorized users and the provision of signalized crossing for pedestrians, cyclists and equestrians across the A5120 will contribute to safety and promote green travel.
The scheme will relieve Dunstable of significant congestion and through traffic on the A5.
The scheme will re-route traffic which has been traveling to M1 junctions 11 & 12 via the local road network in Dunstable, Houghton Regis and surrounding area’s.
The scheme will Boost economic growth by providing a link between the M1 and the A5.
The scheme will unlock land for employment and housing developments in the Central Bedfordshire area.
Did You Know?
- Number of staff working onsite at construction peak: 260, of which 35% live locally.
- Fencing erected: 30,000 metres.
- Pavement layed: 120,000 tonnes.
- Ditches dug: 14,000 metres.
- Drainage Pipe layed: 43,000 metres.
- Concrete used: 4,100m3.
- Earthworks Excavation: 600,000m3.