Improvements to Junction 19 of the M1 will begin in January, after Skanska finalised the £128.5m contract for the work with the Highways Agency.
The junction near Catthorpe, at the southern tip of Leicestershire, links England’s two main north-south corridors, the M1 and M6, as well as the eastbound A14. It is used by up to 142,000 vehicles a day.
The upgrade will involve a three-level junction, providing a grade separation between long distance traffic using the motorways, and vehicles travelling between the villages of Catthorpe and Swinford. The new structure will be similar in height to the existing junction.
The improvements were announced on Wednesday by roads minister Robert Goodwill. They follow the successful completion of the £18m replacement of Catthorpe Viaduct, which carries the southbound M6 over the M1, in June 2012.
By the expected completion of the work in autumn/winter 2016-17, the junction will have direct free-flow links from the A14 to the M1 northbound; M1 northbound to M6; M6 to M1 southbound; M1 southbound to A14; and M6 to A14 in both directions. The scheme will also see significant improvements to local roads.
Skanska was awarded the improvement project in 2006 under an Early Contractor Involvement contract.
Skanska executive vice-president Bill Hocking said: “This is a complex project at the intersection of two major motorways and we are delighted to agree the final target cost with the Highways Agency. We are very much looking forward to working with the Highways Agency and starting on site in January.”