Published: 12:00, 13 September 2019
Aerial pictures show how a bridge over the M20 was demolished as part of the new Junction 10a works last weekend.
Highways England closed the motorway between Junctions 9 and 11 at 10pm last Friday to allow for the Highfield Lane bridge near Ashford to be torn down.
The London-bound carriageway reopened just before 7pm last Sunday evening followed by the coastbound carriageway at about midnight.
But motorists faced queues on the A20 across the weekend as drivers tried to find alternative routes, with many heading through Sellindge.
Amy Hulley, assistant project manager for Junction 10a, thanked motorists for their patience.
“Taking down the bridge is one of the final remaining milestones in creating this new junction, which will bring huge benefits for people in Ashford and way beyond,” she said.
“I am delighted that the weekend’s work went so smoothly, and everyone on the project team is grateful to drivers for their patience.”
The bridge was taken down using 50-tonne excavators, fitted with pulveriser attachments which crunched up the concrete deck before moving onto the central pier and finally the two bridge abutments.
The material from the bridge was taken from the motorway using 30-tonne dumper trucks before being taken to a recycling facility for re-use as recycled construction materials.
Highways England says the bridge is being replaced by two new integral bridges, spanning almost 40 metres and almost 17 metres wide, which will form part of the new Junction 10a.
Bosses previously told the KentOnline the £104m junction would open to traffic this month, but no precise date has been given.
Earlier in the week, a burst water main on the A2070 Bad Munstereifel Road had caused lengthy delays across the town.
It burst at about 11am last Thursday and contractors were forced to close the road in the eastbound direction between the A2042 Romney Marsh Road roundabout for Ellingham and McDonald’s Orbital Park junction.
It was open in the opposite direction, but motorists were caught up in long delays across Ashford before the road fully reopened on the Saturday.
South East Water, which issued an apology to motorists, said the pipe repair was a “very difficult and complex job”.