All lanes were closed northbound at junction 39 at the A636 Denby Dale Road exit after 'carriageway' repairs were urgently required.
Traffic was held while official lane closures were put in place to allow the emergency repairs to a bridge joint at junction 39.
Motorists Graham Walker had been sitting on the M1 for over an hour.
He said: "It's just so frustrating. I've not seen any emergency vehicles.
"I've just seen someone get a bottle of water out of the boot of their car. It's the first time I've ever seen someone do that in the fast lane."
For all the latest travel information in Yorkshire, follow our live updates by clicking here.