M1 Closure J16 - J18 Northbound, Northamptonshire. Tuesday 07 July 2015
The M1 in Northamptonshire was closed northbound between junctions 16 and 18 through the morning of Tuesday 7th July due to a serious collision, involving two HGVs and a van, which resulted in a serious injury. The carriageway then remained closed for vehicle recovery, extensive clean-up and emergency repair work to the damaged road surface.
At 22:39 on the evening of Monday 6th July, our regional control centre in the East Midlands was alerted by Northamptonshire police to reports of a collision on the M1. Highways England traffic officers were immediately dispatched to the scene and upon arrival, found that two HGVs and a van had collided. Crews from East Midlands Ambulance Service and Northamptonshire Fire & Rescue service were also in attendance.
As a result of the collision, the first HGV had ruptured its fuel tank, spilling a large quantity of diesel onto the road surface. The second HGV was transporting animal offal which had also spilt-out onto the road surface, mixing with the diesel fuel. In
addition, a large volume of debris was spread across the road.
Originally, two lanes were closed at the scene and traffic continued to pass without delay in the one remaining lane which still remained open. But it became necessary to fully close the northbound carriageway at 01:57 so that Northamptonshire police could safely conduct a full investigation. No traffic was ‘trapped’ within the
closure once the carriageway was closed.
A clearly signed diversion route was implemented via the nearby A5, directing motorists to re-join the motorway at junction 18. Note that there is no facility to re-join the M1 northbound at junction 17.
To warn motorists, our National Traffic Operations Centre activated the electronic motorway signage across a wide area, encouraging alternative routes such as the M40 and the A1(M) to avoid the closure, while our National Incident Liaison
Officers tweeted real-time updates to our Twitter followers, published up-to-date information to our website and answered questions from the media. In addition, our 24/7 Customer Contact Centre advisers were also available and on-hand to provide the very latest travel information over the phone.
Once Northamptonshire police had completed their investigation at the scene, the carriageway continued to remain closed so that we could immediately set to work with our specialist recovery agents to remove the vehicles involved in the collision, clear the extensive debris and treat the high volume of diesel and offal that had been spilt onto the road surface.
As we continued to work hard at scene to clear the incident, it soon became apparent that the damage to the road surface was extensive and that 1,200 square metres of road surface would need to be replaced immediately, requiring up to twenty trucks to transport approximately 200 tonnes of fresh tarmac to the scene. Once all of the
tarmac had been delivered, laid and cooled, then re-painting of the white lines and road markings would also have to take place.
By 06:30, queuing traffic had started to build on the approach to the closure at
junction 16 and by 07:45, the queues had reached back to junction 15, causing a 60+ minute delay to motorists.
Utilising a large number of specialist vehicles and equipment, we worked hard throughout the morning to resurface as quickly and as safely as possible so that by a little after midday (12:05), we had successfully completed all of the clean-up, removed all of the vehicles, laid all of the replacement tarmac and repaired all of the damage, making the road safe to re-open again.
Highways England would like to thank motorists for their patience during this lengthy incident and to residents in the surrounding area for the added
congestion on local roads.
Did you find this bulletin useful? We’d really welcome your feedback. Please click here to help us. Thank you.