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How the M1 motorway was built
A report about the building of the M1 motorway, which opened in November 1959. The M1 was Britain's first long-distance motorway stretching 74 miles from St Albans in Hertfordshire to Dunchurch in Warwickshire. Five thousand men worked on the project, twenty million tonnes of rock, chalk and soil were removed, one mile was completed every day and one bridge was built every three days. This report explains how the 55-mile northbound section was completed by John Laing and Son in 19 months and includes footage of the work taking place.
This clip will support teaching of the unit on Methods and Materials at foundation level, Structures at higher level and Health, Safety and Environmental Influences at advanced level. It provides a good example of a past high profile construction and civil engineering project. Following the clip students could be asked at foundation level to consider how mechanisation has influenced construction methods; at higher level to investigate a range of methods, techniques, plant and tools used in the construction of groundworks; at advanced level research the methods involved with groundwork construction and how they have changed in the past century.
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