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M1 Junction 39 to 42 – Extrudakerb go wireless with new GPS technology

Over 11km of slipform Concrete Step Barrier

Over 5km of slipform Surface Water Channels

Upgrade of Great Britain’s life expired steel barrier is rapidly accelerating as the works are being incorporated within the Highways Agency’s overall program to create “All Lane Running” motorways.

Improvement of the M1 motorway between junctions 39 and 42 was one of the first schemes undertaken in the UK and incorporated quite possibly the most complex surface water channel and concrete barrier design installed on a UK motorway.


Working space was limited as traffic management ensured that disruption to road users was avoided and the majority of the central reserve incorporated significant level differences between one carriageway and the adjacent one preventing construction traffic crossing.

For the first time in the UK a GPS wireless guidance system was used in conjunction with laser levels and sonic foundation sensing equipment to provide alignment of the slipform paver.

Extrudakerb took project design information and provided via their own dedicated engineering team setting out and machine control.

Removal of the normal pre-set guidance wire improved safety by eliminating pins being driven into the ground and trip hazard. It also reduced errors caused by compounding setting out tolerances.


Whilst not without teething problems the system has provided an insight into the future for slipform paver alignment control and has impressed Extrudakerb enough to place orders for 5 further machines all fitted with this state of the art GPS guidance system.

The surface water channel works featured three different profiles and necessitated over 50 changes of mould.

A variable profile insitu concrete plinth was slipformed to provide the required foundation of the concrete barrier

Fixed profile and variable profile concrete barrier were both successfully constructed, in itself a challange, with the added difficulty of the new GPS control system.