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Home   Canterbury   News   Article

M2 reopens fully between Faversham and Sittingbourne after 15ft deep hole opens at Lynsted

20 February 2014
by KentOnline reporter

The M2 has fully reopened this morning - nine days after a huge 15ft deep hole swallowed up the road surface.

Work to stabilise the dene hole - a chalk well - has finished and the motorway near Lynsted declared safe.

More resurfacing work took place overnight, with all lanes having reopened at 6am today.

The hole created a chasm in the motorway. Exclusive picture Simon Burchett

The hole created a chasm in the motorway. Exclusive picture: Simon Burchett

The temporary 40mph speed limit past the site has also been removed and the national speed limit restored.

Two lanes - lane one and the hard shoulder - had been open past the hole in each direction overnight.

The huge chasm - originally widely believed to have been a sinkhole - began causing traffic gridlock when it was discovered on the central reservation on Tuesday afternoon.

Work is ongoing on the M2 to repair the hole. Picture Simon Burchett

Work is ongoing on the M2 to repair the hole. Picture: Simon Burchett

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 huge hole that opened up on the M2. Picture Highways Agency

The huge hole that opened up on the M2. Picture: Highways Agency

The hole is believed to be a denehole -  an historic man-made hole that might have been used to mine chalk hundreds of years ago. 

Highways bosses said it was filled in when the M2 was built.

But wet weather is said to have "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 geotechnical investigations confirm the ground beneath the M2 is safe for traffic.

Workers filled the hole with 40 tonnes of pea shingle

Workers filled the hole with 40 tonnes of pea shingle

Transport minister Robert Goodwill visited the crater last Thursday after being asked by the Prime Minister to see why it was taking so long to get the problem fixed.

 

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