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Pictures of the new M20 bridge which opened ahead of schedule

There was some good news for a change for motorists this morning as the new M20 bridge work was completed ahead of schedule.

The motorway fully reopened before the anticipated time of 10am, with the London bound carriageway open at 3.30am, and the coast bound lanes an hour after.

Highway England had closed the road between junctions 9 and 11 to allow for work to install a new bridge

The closure was in place to allow for the installation of the new Kingsford Street bridge, which replaces Highfield Lane bridge, and connects Kingsford Street to the A20 Hythe Road.

The new bridge, which is designed for pedestrians, cyclists and equestrians, is set to open next summer.

The existing Highfield Lane bridge is scheduled to be demolished next year, following the installation of East and West Gyratory Bridges which form the new Junction 10a.

The new Kingsford bridge. Picture: Paul Amos
The new Kingsford bridge. Picture: Paul Amos

The closure came a week after the stretch between Junction 4 for Leybourne and Junction 6 at Blue Bell Hill was shut so the Teapot Lane footbridge in Aylesford could be replaced.

Built by Nusteel Structures in Hythe, 20 people were involved in the building of the structure, which forms part of the new Junction 10a.

Weighing 45 tonnes, it is equivalent to nine hippos.

It will replace the existing Highfield Lane bridge, which will be demolished in late spring or early summer next year, resulting in another weekend closure.

Junction 10a work will continue until summer 2020. Picture: Paul Amos
Junction 10a work will continue until summer 2020. Picture: Paul Amos

Junction 10a is expected to open to traffic next autumn.

The M20 has been reduced to two lanes in both directions around the site of the new junction.

A 50mph limit is also in place - and will stay in force until 2020.

The motorway was opened several hours earlier than expected. Picture: Paul Amos
The motorway was opened several hours earlier than expected. Picture: Paul Amos

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