Thirty eight giant steel bridge beams will be lifted into place over the M1 near Dunstable during March and April as part of the £162M, A5-M1 Link Road scheme.
Contractors working on behalf of Highways England will use a 1,000t crane to lift the 52m long, 100t bridge beams into place, which will act as foundations for the decks of two new bridges over the M1.
Highways England senior project manager Anthony Johnson said: “These bridge beam lifts are an important milestone for the A5-M1 Link Road project, which will offer motorists better and safer journeys and help reduce congestion through Dunstable as well as unlock land for new homes and businesses.”
To carry out the work safely, the M1 will be closed between junctions 11 and 12 over several nights between 16 March and 9 April.
Once the new beams have been installed, work can begin to construct decks for the new junction 11a interchange bridge and the new B579 Luton Road bridge.
The A5-M1 Link project comprises a new 4.5km dual carriageway to improve the east-west connection between the A5 and M1 north of Dunstable and help reduce congestion through Dunstable town centre.
The £162.1M project includes building a new dualled road, three new junctions including a new motorway junction, and six new bridges.
Highways England also said that the delivery of the scheme would unlock up to 40ha of land for businesses and provide the infrastructure for 7,000 houses to be built north of Houghton Regis.