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'Superspan' gantries installed on M20 near Aylesford as part of new smart motorway

Huge "superspan" gantries are being installed as part of a multi-million pound project to upgrade the M20 and M23.

Weighing more than 80 tonnes each and stretching 50 metres long, the gantries are part of the new smart motorway.

The first of five, these massive structures will cross all lanes of an upgraded M20 near Aylesford.

An 80 tonne gantry being installed over the M20 near Aylesford
An 80 tonne gantry being installed over the M20 near Aylesford

Signs and signals will be fitted to the gantries, which will also be used to set speed limits and give drivers information.

The smart motorway will go from Junctions 3 and 5 of the road.

It will also feature a permanent fourth lane and emergency areas in place of the hard shoulder.

The "superspan" gantries being installed on the M23
The "superspan" gantries being installed on the M23

Highways England project lead for the M20 smart motoway, Kam Kaluba, said: "I am delighted we have achieved another major milestone on the journey to transform the M20 into a high capacity world-class motorway which will deliver a much smoother and more reliable journey to road users.

“In addition to new gantries we will be refurbishing two existing variable message signs.

"I would also like to thank everyone, especially those living nearby, for their patience and support while we work to deliver this major investment.”

Work on the smart motorways began in April last year and will continue further into this year.

The new super gantry on the M23 will span the full width of Junction 8 where the M23 joins the M25 in Surrey.

It is more than 54 metres in length.

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