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M1 upgrade pulls in the big names

CONTRACTS - NORTHAMPTONSHIRE

A HOST of major firms have made the cut in the chase for the second of three mammoth jobs to upgrade the M1 motorway.

Costain, Laing O'Rourke, Mowlem, Skanska and the familiar pairing of Amec and Alfred McAlpine are all bidding for the £120 million job to improve junction 19, which links up with the M6 and the A14.

The work, near Rugby in Northamptonshire, is part of £750 million-worth of improvements planned for the M1. The successful team will build a grade-separated roundabout at junction 19. Local roads will be isolated and alternative routes built.

The Early Contractor Involvement job will be awarded early next year, with the winning team expected on site in 2007. Construction will last three years.