Published: 13:00, 20 August 2014
Work to rebuild a key commuter route in what is one of Maidstone’s most ambitious engineering projects could protect the roads surface for half a century, it has been revealed.
Willington Street, a former farm track, is being completely restructured at a cost of £1.2million, with work set to be completed in just over a week.
The project aims to make the road strong enough for the increasing volume of traffic which has for years been thundering along the tarmac, shattering its foundations.
Kent County Council resurfacing manager Alan Casson explained how one lorry has the same affect of 10,000 cars on the crumbling surface.
He said: “The best option was to completely rebuild the road, the process we’re going through, digging down up to five times as far as we normally would, should ensure we won’t have to revisit the road for 50 years.”
Adding that any future rebuild won't be on the cards for at least a century.
The work is seeing 600 tons of material extracted every week, with the total amount set to stand at 3,000 tons by the end of the project on Sunday, August 31.
“Everything is on track, there have been three incidents of water and gas needing maintenance, but that is to be expected in a project of this scale”, said Mr Casson.
Teams of up to 40 people have been working towards a six-week deadline to rebuild a one kilometre stretch of the road, splitting the work into four 250 metre sections.
It is the first and largest stage in the three-phase project, with the remaining sections being done in the Easter and the summer school holidays next year.
Mr Casson added: “The way we have organised the project is to minimise disruption, residents only have to go just under a week without access to their driveways, they’ve reacted well and we’re on site seven days-a-week to answer questions.”
The work will mean that utility providers will be prohibited from undertaking maintenance on existing pipes and mains for five years, with only emergency repairs and new connections being carried out.
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