The M2 motorway got a major lift this month when a series of massive concrete beams were raised into place for a new flyover near Stockbury in Kent.
Two edge beams weighing 56 tonnes each, along with 16 beams in the middle, each 20 tonnes in weight, were lifted into place.
A specialist 500-tonne mega-crane was required for the delicate operation to install the pre-cast concrete bridge beams for the new flyover, south of Stockbury roundabout.
It took the team of workers from National Highways and contractor GRAHAM two days to lift the 18 beams into place, but the work was able to be completed without the need for road closures. This ensured disruption was kept a minimum, and traffic flowing on the A249 and the M2.
The beams measure around 22.5 metres in length – around the same as two double decker buses – and will support the new road deck on the south side of the new flyover.
This work is a significant step in the £92m transformation of an important junction, which is one of the busiest in the region and experienced large queues and heavy congestion daily.
Once fully complete, the flyover is expected to allow traffic to flow without restrictions over the Stockbury roundabout, reducing delays and improving safety.
Dan Rollinson, project lead for the M2 Junction Five scheme, said: “This is a key strategic route through Kent providing an alternative link with cross-channel ports and the rest of the country. Our improvements to this important junction will help tackle congestion that drivers, businesses and the local community have encountered for a long-time.”
Timelapse footage released by National Highways captured the major milestone, which is viewable on YouTube.
Gordon Henderson, MP for Sittingbourne and Sheppey, said: “It was good to see a major step towards completing this much needed project to solve the long standing problem of congestion on the A249.
“In addition to that historic congestion, my constituents have had to put up with the necessary major disruption that accompanies any large road improvement project.
“They have done so with little complaint and I am sure they will be as delighted as me to see that the project is on schedule to be completed next year. We can’t wait!”
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