Major water works causing long delays on the A249 are to be abandoned after just three days due to the impact on traffic.
South East Water is stopping its work to renew a water pipe from 8pm tonight and the carriageway will be reopened completely.
The £240,000 scheme to replace 710 metres of pipe, which has burst repeatedly in the last five years, is being delayed due to pressure on the road from works being carried out in Strood.
It was due to run for seven weeks from Monday, between the M20 J7 and M2 J5 on both the north and southbound carriageways.
A lane of the northbound carriageway had been cordoned off for a five week scheme, with the southbound section due to be shut for two weeks.
It will be the second time that South East Water has attempted to replace the water pipe along this major transport route. Due to unrelated traffic problems further up the road in January the first attempt was postponed.
South East Water’s project manager, Steve McIntegart said: “We are very disappointed to have to delay this important scheme.
“This is one of our most difficult water pipe replacement projects" - project manager Steve McIntegart
"This is one of our most difficult water pipe replacement projects because of the high volume of traffic using the area at all times of the year.
“We worked very hard to come up with traffic control measures which would keep the public and our workforce safe, but also keep motorists moving as much as possible.
"However, road works more than 15 miles away in Strood town centre is putting further strain on this stretch of road as motorists find alternative routes.
“We had no option but to halt our work, return the carriageway to its original state and remove all traffic management.
“It is essential this water main is replaced as quickly as possible, so we will be looking again at how and when this work can be carried out in the near future.”