Published: 00:01, 17 September 2014 |
Updated: 11:12, 17 September 2014
A stretch of the A2 will be completely shut off at weekends for nine weeks - sending drivers on a 40-mile diversion and forcing them to use rat runs through country lanes.
The coast-bound carriageway between Brenley Corner and Canterbury will be closed from 8pm on Fridays to 6am on Mondays so vital repairs can be carried out on the road.
But the Highways Agency says the inconvenience is unavoidable as the surface of the six-mile stretch is starting to break up.
Dover-bound vehicles, especially HGVs, will be diverted down the Thanet Way to Manston and will reach the port via the A256 Eastry and Whitfield by-passes.
But highways bosses admit motorists with local knowledge and wanting to get to Canterbury and the surrounding villages will find alternative routes.
The A290 through Blean, in particular, could bear the brunt of Canterbury-bound traffic.
But signs are being put up on the motorways to tell HGV drivers to switch off their sat navs when they get to Brenley Corner at Faversham so they are not led down unsuitable roads.
Even the slip roads in and out of Boughton will be closed and the Holiday Express, Texaco garage and three homes on the section of the closed carriageway will be isolated at weekends.
The Agency says it is making special arrangements for the businesses and properties to be able to use the road under repair by issuing passes and escorting vehicles needing access.
The work - which was showcased at an exhibition in Boughton on Tuesday - will start on October 3 and is due to end on December 1.
Agency asset manager for the south east, John Henderson, said the £620,000 project is needed to rebuild the crumbling concrete sub-structure, which is causing the top surface asphalt to break up.
He says they have chosen the “least painful” option, but admitted it would still lead to frustrations for drivers.
He explained: “We can’t not do this work because it will lead to much longer closures in the future.
“To be fair, the road has held up pretty well for 33 years, but it has reached the stage where it needs to be repaired.
“Obviously it’s a busy route so we chose a period after the school holidays when it is a quieter time of year.
“We also looked at a variety of options for timescales, carriageway closures and diversions, but it was clear that a contraflow system wouldn’t be the best solution because that would impact on London-bound traffic.
It was also obvious that we could not use Boughton village as a diversion.
“Many local drivers will use their local knowledge to get around the diversion and it will be signposted as far back as the M25 and M2 to encourage Dover-bound traffic to use the M20.
“We appreciate it will cause inconvenience, but the work is unavoidable and we will be working flat out to get it done and minimise disruption.”
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