Civil engineering specialist GRAHAM has reached a milestone on the M2 junction 5 improvements scheme, with some significant changes made that will benefit road users.
GRAHAM was awarded the £92m M2 junction 5 improvements scheme by National Highways in June 2021.
The junction is one of the busiest in the region and experiences large queues and heavy congestion on a daily basis. It also had one of the highest collision rates across England’s motorway and major A roads nationally.
The project team has recently implemented major changes to the way drivers use the Stockbury roundabout.
Earlier in the year, GRAHAM switched the A249 southbound traffic onto a new stretch of road on the south side of the roundabout, that runs adjacent to the existing carriageway.
The new section is temporarily carrying southbound traffic and once complete will become the new Oad Street Link Road, which will carry traffic directly from Oad Street to the Stockbury roundabout.
The A249’s northbound traffic has also been switched onto the existing southbound carriageway to allow construction of the Stockbury South bridge structure.
Once complete, the flyover will allow traffic to flow without restrictions over the Stockbury roundabout, reducing delays and improving safety.
Last month GRAHAM opened the new Maidstone Link Road, a new carriageway connecting Maidstone Road to Oad Street.
The project team also opened the new southbound diverge (slip road) to southbound traffic. The start of this new slip road consists of continuously reinforced concrete paving (CRCP), to tie in the existing carriageway, with surfacing also recently completed. Once works are complete, the southbound diverge will have a dedicated slip road to the M2 (westbound).
The switching of traffic to the southbound diverge will enable the construction of the northern Stockbury flyover, with the first step being the installation of 900mm dia CFA (Continuous flight auger) piles.
Now the traffic has been switched, GRAHAM’s team is demolishing the CRCP slab beneath the existing A249 carriageway utilising excavators with hydraulic breakers.
Recent progress has seen the construction of the southern abutment for the new Stockbury south bridge structure. The abutment is constructed with 170 cubic meters of steel-reinforced concrete.
Following completion of the abutment, GRAHAM has made major progress on the scheme’s bespoke flint-clad reinforced earth RECO walls. The RECO walls will see 1,500 RECO panels placed in total, allowing earth to be backfilled behind them. The faces of the panels have been chosen to provide an aesthetically pleasing finish to the scheme, with a coarse finish of locally sourced flint utilised to suit the scheme’s natural surroundings in the Stockbury Valley.
Once complete, the scheme will lead to smoother and safer journeys for hundreds of thousands of drivers each day.