AECOM was the lead design consultant on the M1 Junctions 10 – 13 smart motorway project, one of the largest Early Contractor Involvement (ECI) schemes to be completed on an existing motorway in the UK. It was also one of the country’s first smart motorway schemes, where rather than widening the road, the hard shoulder is open to traffic at peak times to provide extra capacity and uses variable mandatory speed limits to manage traffic flows.

AECOM’ team of engineers and environmental specialists were involved throughout the project’s development, from preferred option to design development, detailed design and construction. Working for the scheme’s contractor, AECOM delivered all the detailed engineering designs including Intelligent Transport Systems and a number of junction improvements. AECOM’ scope also included the design of capacity enhancements involving transportation modelling and economic evaluation. AECOM’ extensive experience in the delivery of ECI schemes helped take the project through the detailed design and formal statutory processes, including a public inquiry phase, to completion of construction in an accelerated programme of just over four years.

Smart motorways add much needed capacity to the road network, reducing congestion and costs while also minimising the requirement to acquire land. Since the completion of the M1 Junctions 10 – 13 project, the UK Government has announced a programme of more smart motorway schemes. AECOM is currently working on the designs for three of these projects, the M6 Junctions 10a to 13, the M3 Junctions 2 to 4a, which are part of the Highways Agency’s Accelerated Delivery pilot programme, and the M4 Junctions 3 to 12.