Work to repair a 15-foot deep dene hole that forced the closure of the M2 last week has been completed.
The hole, which was originally identified as a sinkhole, opened up in the central reservation last Tuesday (11 February) and lead to the closure of a section of the motorway between junctions 5 and 6.
The work to stabilise the dene has now been completed with further resurfacing and completion work carried out.
All lanes of the M2 were set to re-open this morning (Thursday 20 February).
Simon Duke, Highways Agency asset delivery manager for Kent, said: “I would like to thank drivers for their patience and cooperation throughout the work to stabilise the hole that appeared on the M2 near Lydgate in Kent last Tuesday.
“Our investigations are complete and the hole has been stabilised, meaning that traffic can safely use all lanes of the M2.”
The hole that appeared is believed to be a dene hole; a historic man made hole which may have been used to mine for chalk hundreds of years ago. The hole was filled in when the M2 was constructed but recent wet weather contributed to the destabilisation of the ground causing the hole to appear. Forty tonnes of pea shingle has been used to stabilise the hole and further geotechnical investigations confirm that the ground beneath the M2 is safe for traffic to use.
Last week, Roads Minister Robert Goodwill visited the site of the hole to inspect work being carried out (see picture).
During the closure of the motorway, Highways Agency contractors took the opportunity to carry out maintenance such as pothole resurfacing and hard shoulder vegetation clearance, minimising the need for future closures at this location.