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River Ouse motorway underbridge
M1, near Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire
River Ouse motorway underbridge
associated engineer
Sir Owen Williams
Sir Owen Williams & Partners
date  1st April 1958 - November 1959
era  Modern  |  category  Bridge  |  reference  SP850446
photo  Owen Williams archive, part of Amey plc
A concrete and earth structure carrying the M1 across the River Ouse. Williams' most apparent involvement in the design of the first, 53 mile section of the M1 is in the appearance of its bridges, which were built to a series of flexible standardised designs.
The River Ouse bridge is, however, a little different in appearance to its fellow motorway underbridges and overbridges, as it consists of a series of arches. It possible owes something of its structure of Williams' earlier concrete bridge across the Spey in Scotland.
As with the Spey Bridge, the spans (of which there are seven) are inclined from the vertical, giving a fluid visual effect. The largest span here is 30.48m wide. Landscaped earth fills the spandrels (the triangular spaces between the arches), reinforcing the 'wave' effect of the clean, concrete arches.
The only similar M1 bridges are the underbridges at Newport Pagnell, spanning only 12m, and at Milton Ham, with a 7.3m span.
The picture shows the model made for the Department of Transport in the mid 50s. Models were made of all the standardised bridge forms used in the earliest section of the M1.
Main contractor: John Laing Construction Ltd
Research: LG, JJ
reference sources   OWWOW

River Ouse motorway underbridge