In 1999, a short but significant piece of new motorway was opened to the east of Leeds, completing what had been an obvious gap in the trunk road network. On the face of it, this is a new but otherwise average piece of three-lane motorway - but building it provided more engineering challenges than meet the eye.
Adrian Shawcross, one of the engineers who worked on the project, describes some of the most difficult and impressive engineering on the road, accompanied by unique photographs that were taken during the road's construction.
The M1-A1 Link Road was the name given to the project comprising the construction of a new motorway link between the M1 at Belle Isle to the south of Leeds and the A1 at Hook Moor to the east of Leeds, and included widening of the M62 between junctions 28 and 29, widening of the M1 between junctions 42 and 43 and upgrading of the A1 to motorway standard between Hook Moor and Bramham Crossroads.
The Highways Agency (formerly the Department of Transport) had been planning to extend the M1 motorway past Leeds to link up with the A1 Trunk Road since the late 1960s. There had been numerous studies, consultations and public inquiries to investigate possible route options for a new strategic highway link.
It was in 1968 that the Ministry of Transport first commissioned a study into the feasibility of providing a new or improved route to relieve the A1 in Yorkshire and to meet the needs of increasing traffic movements between the road network south of Leeds and the North East of England.
Page 1 of 5
- Dolphin Lane
- New Civil Engineer Roads Supplement, June 1997, pp 9-11.
- New Civil Engineer Concrete Engineering Supplement, November 1997, pp 24-26.
- M1/A1 Link Road - The Yorkshire Link, produced by Yorkshire Link, Spring 1999.