Beam lift completed on £100M M2 junction 5 Stockbury Flyover improvement scheme

Graham has completed a major beam lift for the new £100M M2 junction 5 Stockbury Flyover improvements scheme.

The lift was completed at the end of last week when a 450t “mega crane” was used to lift two 56t edge beams and 16 internal beams each weighing 20t into place. Large precast reinforced concrete beams each 22.5m long were also successfully installed to form the span of the southern flyover structure.

Graham, working on behalf of National Highways, was able to complete the lift with no road closures and minimal disruptions to traffic over the two days it took to complete.

The M2 junction 5 improvements scheme is a project to remedy heavy traffic congestion which is common at the junction in Sittingbourne, Kent. This section of road is currently listed as one of the top 50 national casualty locations on England’s major A roads and motorways.

Now the beam lift has been completed, Graham will move onto the next stage of the structure’s erection which involve the construction of the in-situ concrete deck.

Other works involved in the scheme include constructing two new dedicated free-flowing slip roads: A left turn for traffic travelling from the A249 southbound to the M2 westbound and a left turn from the A249 northbound to the M2 eastbound, rerouting of Maidstone Road to link with Oad Street and a new link being provided south of the existing Oad Street to connect directly with the A249 Stockbury Roundabout.

Visualisation of the improved M2 junction 5 once complete

Graham was awarded the £92M contract by National Highways in June 2021 to upgrade the junction following a public inquiry announced at the end of 2019 after objections were raised regarding a number of issues.

These included the project's impact on the Kent Downs Area of Natural Beauty (AONB) and concerns regarding groundwater, contaminated land and waste.

Graham project manager Stevie Collins said: “We’re delighted with the progress being made on the M2 junction 5 improvements scheme so far and reaching the milestone of the beam installation to the new Southern Stockbury bridge structure.

“The lifting of the beams was a complex operation delivered meticulously by our project team to ensure a safe and timely installation, particularly while keeping traffic moving at the junction.

“The approach we’ve taken reflects Graham’s dedication to delivering our projects efficiently while also prioritising the safety and convenience of the public.”

National Highways M2 junction 5 project lead Dan Rollinson 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.

“Construction sites can be dangerous places, and this scheme is being delivered alongside live traffic lanes to help minimise disruption to motorways.

“It’s a real fantastic achievement to reach 355,000 safe working hours, and a testament to our commitment to keeping everyone safe and well.”

See time lapse footage of the beam lift below:

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