A brand new road bridge spanning the A2 as part of a huge upgrade near the Bluewater retail complex in Kent has been completed four months early.
The Bean Lane bridge – part of a £112 million scheme – linking Ebbsfleet, Bean and the shopping centre has fully opened to traffic.
The project being carried out by National Highways – formerly known as Highways England – saw the original bridge reduced to one lane in both directions to allow for work to begin on the new structure.
Highways chiefs say the complex project being completed ahead of Black Friday and the run up to Christmas will prove a major boost to help reduce congestion and traffic, reports the Kent Messenger.
The new 70m long bridge was lifted into place in August – which led to huge delays during the weekend works – and the deck and beams weigh more than 900 tonnes.
It was built in Darlington and transported down to Kent before being craned into position.
Edgar Vila Pouca, National Highways programme manager, said: “The planning and installation of the new Bean Lane bridge has been complex in many ways and is great news for the people of Bean, Ebbsfleet and the surrounding area that this bridge is now open ahead of schedule.
“I’m very grateful to everyone in our national supply chain who has worked so hard to get this bridge open and I’d also like to thank everyone living, working and travelling in the area for their patience while this work took place.”
Work on the new bridge started in March with the original bridge reduced to one lane and further partial closures on the northern and southern roundabouts to allow workers to access the areas during daylight hours.
Robert Goodman, Senior Centre Director at Bluewater, said: “We are delighted that the main roadworks are complete and that the new bridge across the A2 is open to the public.
“This will make Bluewater even more accessible for our visitors in the busy run-up to Christmas.”
PIC-National Highways/Kent Messenger