Highways England has appointed GRAHAM to deliver much-needed improvements to the slip roads and junction approaches at the M2 Junction 5 in south-east England.
The improvement work, due to commence in March next year, includes:
- Replacing the existing roundabout with a new grade-separated interchange, which is a flyover, to provide free-flowing movement on the A249.
- 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.
- The closure of the existing connection from the Maidstone Road to the A249 Stockbury Roundabout, with the Maidstone Road to be instead re-routed to link with Oad Street.
- The closure of the existing junction of Oad Street with the A249. A new link to be provided south of the existing Oad Street to connect directly with the A249 Stockbury Roundabout.
- The closure of the Honeycrock Hill junction with the A249 for safety reasons.
Working in partnership
The appointment of GRAHAM follows a competitive tendering process after being named as one of Highways England’s 13 partner contractors under the Routes to Market Regional Delivery Partnership.
GRAHAM was named as a delivery integration partner for the South East and East.
The project will address major congestion problems with the M2 Junction 5/ A249 Stockbury Roundabout unable to cope with existing traffic flows. At certain times of the day there are high levels of congestion on the A249 southbound (towards Maidstone), northbound (towards Sittingbourne) and on the approaches to the junction and on the exit slow road from the M2 westbound (towards Stockbury Roundabout).
Without the improvement works congestion is expected to worsen in the future, with traffic already diverting to rural routes and local roads not suited to the volumes of traffic.
The scheme will also reduce future safety risks – with the junction currently one of the top 50 national casualty locations on England’s major ‘A’ road and motorways.
Dave Brown, GRAHAM Highways Director, said:
“We are delighted to have been awarded this contract from Highways England for such a major scheme, which will improve so many lives – both motorists and residents living nearby.
“When complete this will provide additional capacity, enhance journey time reliability, improve the safety not just around the M2 Junction 5 but also the surrounding local road network and support the development of housing and the creation of jobs.”
The scheme will also improve drainage and reduce flooding as a result of rainfall on the highways. The plans include creating additional public rights of way with a commitment to replace any lost habitats or vegetation as a result of the scheme.
“We believe during operation, once habitats are established, the scheme is likely to result in beneficial effects for habitats, hazel dormice and breeding and wintering birds due to the improved quality of newly created habitats.”
The project is the latest in several major highways’ contracts awarded to GRAHAM in recent years including the recently completed £8 million Travis Bow Link Road which creates a vital link between the A6 and M60 in Stockport town centre. The work was named Project of the Year at the 2019 Chartered Institution of Highways & Transportation (CIHT) North West Awards.
“With many years of experience in delivering similar, complex highways projects throughout the UK, we will be tapping into this expertise to ensure completion of the improvements to the M2 Junction 5 to the very highest standards.
“We are proud of our record – a record that is continuously recognised by the industry’s leaders for its creativity, added-value engineering and, most importantly, integrity.”