Published: 13:36, 15 September 2018
| Updated: 13:39, 15 September 2018
A new motorway junction in Kent is set to be used by motorists for the first time next autumn, Highways England has announced.
Junction 10a of the M20 is currently being built and will serve Ashford, which is set to see thousands of new homes built and 28,000 jobs created in the coming years.
Work started on the £104.4 million project in January, and is due to be completed in 2020.
But in an update to the South East Local Enterprise Partnership – which provided £19.7 million of funding – Highways England programme leader Andy Salmon said vehicles will be able to use it before then.
He told the accountability board earlier yesterday: “We are currently working towards an ‘open to traffic’ date in autumn 2019, with the total scheme completion by quarter two in 2020.
“The difference between the two is really the landscaping works – after the road is reopen, there will be still be ongoing verge works and landscaping.”
Mr Salmon admitted there had been some “challenges” with piling work carried out on the site, but was confident these were being addressed properly.
There is currently a 50mph speed limit through the roadworks, which board chairman Geoff Miles said was being “managed well”.
He added: “As a Kent resident and businessman, can I say how pleased I am that this is actually happening. It was first talked about as a necessity in 2003 – that’s now 15 years ago.”