M1 Widening Junctions 25 to 28

VINCI Construction Grands Projets delivered its project in the United Kingdom in 1992: building the Second Severn Crossing, a cable-stayed bridge connecting England and Wales across the Severn Estuary. The Company has since built long-term local partnerships that have led to projects such as this one: widening a 23-kilometre section of the M1 and converting it from a dual 3-lane to a dual 4-lane configuration – without disrupting traffic.



As part of a consortium designated by Highways England, VINCI Construction Grands Projets was mandated to carry out the first phase of a design-build contract to widen a section of motorway M1 in England.
This phase covers design and construction for a widening scheme to convert a 23-kilometre section of the M1 near Nottingham from a dual 3-lane carriageway into a dual 4-lane carriageway.


The project site is the section from junctions 25 to 28 of the M1 motorway. The project is divided into three sections (Section 1: J25/J26: 9;4 km; Section 2: J26/J27: 8.8 km; Section 3: J27/J28: 5.3 km).
The reason for dividing the project into sections is to maintain traffic flow along the M1 without reducing the number of lanes open for traffic.
Work was carried out without resorting to alternating traffic flow, a method never before used in this country.
Another innovation consisted in the use of the Compact Motorway Design (CMD) concept, whereby lanes 3 and 4 are narrower than lanes 1 and 2 – a more environmentally friendly method that reduces the need for excavation and surfacing materials.
As a lane-narrowing solution, CMD considerably reduces the scope of construction and the total quantity of excavated materials.
Phased roadworks scheduling is also an innovation since this is the first time in the United Kingdom that concurrent widening schemes were carried out (with work beginning at the same time on both roadways).
Overall, innovative practices on this project allowed us to reduce the environmental footprint associated with our construction activities. We managed to achieve this project without having to impinge on land beyond the worksite.

The M1 is the oldest and longest motorway in the United Kingdom. It is 310 kilometres long, runs north-south, and connects London to Leeds, England’s third-largest city.



This widening scheme helps minimize the overall environmental impact, the paved surface requiring future maintenance, the need to widen bridges, and disruptions to public users.
The project provides a profitable road-widening solution that can be used on other highway contracts.
This motorway-widening concept has shown not only that it is profitable but that it is environmentally friendly. In addition, it is safe both for roadway industry workers and motorists.
These characteristics coupled with the scope of the project have made this structure a revolution of sorts in the highway industry.

Project participants

Highways Agency

Project management
Highways Agency

Key figures

Implementation dates
January 2007 to june 2010    

Section 1: J25/J26 9.4 km

Section 2: J26/J27 8.8 km

Section 3: J27/J28 5.3 km


Green Apple Award:
Gold Award (2011)

Considerate Constructors:
Silver Award (2011)

M5 Smart Motorway