Golden anniversary for M2 | Smart Highways Magazine: Industry News

Golden anniversary for M2

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It is 50 years today (29 May) since the M2 was officially opened.

For half a century the M2 has provided a route for traffic heading through Kent to Dover and to alleviate congestion through the Medway towns.

Jon Griffiths, Highways Agency regional director for the South East, said: “The M2 is a vital link to the Channel ports, and a busy route, with around 75,000 vehicles using it per day.

“Maintaining safe and reliable journeys is key for us and over the years a lot of work has gone into this key 25 mile road, including widening projects and routine maintenance such as bridge joint replacement carried out last year on the Stockbury viaduct.”

The M2 was originally built with two lanes plus a hard shoulder in each direction. It has several significant bridges including the Medway viaduct, which carries traffic 35 metres above the River Medway.

The M2 was opened by Rt Hon Ernest Marples MP, Minister of Transport, on 29 May 1963.

It is the only motorway in England that does not meet any other motorway at a junction.

Sections of the road have been widened to four lanes, which required the construction of a second Medway bridge to accommodate the increased traffic flows. In 2003, the new bridge won the Concrete Society’s Civil Engineering Category award for “outstanding merit in the use of concrete”.

The Stockbury viaduct, at junction five near Sittingbourne, in Kent, was refurbished as part of a £470,000 scheme in autumn 2012.

 
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