Published: 16:58, 16 September 2021
| Updated: 17:33, 16 September 2021
Work to transform journeys along one of the county’s most gridlocked roads will begin in January, it has been confirmed.
A £92million upgrade to Stockbury roundabout on the A249 was given he green light in June by the Secretary of State for Transport Grant Shapps following a public inquiry.
In a letter to the area's MP Gordon Henderson, the authority said: "We will be starting construction on our improvements for the M2 junction 5 Stockbury interchange in January 2022.
"Ahead of this, we need to carry out some preparation work, which will start soon."
Listing the preparation work, which is set to begin this month, the authority said it would include the diversion of water pipes, electricity and phones lines, the installation of a site compound, and vegetation and site clearance.
It added: "Most of this work will be taking place away from the roads and will not require any lane or road closures.
"However, in order to divert some utilities, there will be occasions when we will need to close either the A249 northbound or southbound carriageway. These closures will be overnight and at weekends."
Meanwhile, the main construction work will start in January and will run until winter 2024.
It includes providing a new flyover, over the top of the existing roundabout, to provide free-flowing movement on the A249, and creating two new slip roads for traffic joining the M2 in both directions.
The Maidstone Road junction will be closed, and re-routed to link with Oad Street, which will join the roundabout directly, while the existing Oad Street junction and the Honeycrock Hill junction will shut.
National Highways said: "During the improvement scheme you may notice traffic management and reduced speed limits around the junction, which is likely to have an impact on your journey time.
"We will be working closely with local authorities to share any road closures, to help minimise disruption to road users.
"We will be sharing all closures and diversion information on our project website."
The authority will host an online public exhibition for people to find out more about the project.
Its 'virtual room' will be open from 9am on Wednesday, September 22 and will remain available for the rest of the scheme.
Meanwhile the project team will also be on hand to answer questions from 9am to noon on Wednesday, September 22, from 3-6pm on Thursday, September 23, from 10am to 1pm on Friday, September 24, and from 9am to noon on Saturday, September 25.
Gordon Henderson said: "I know many of my constituents are concerned about the problems on the A249 caused by congestion at the Stockbury Roundabout and will be aware of the work I have done over many years to encourage Highways England to make the necessary improvements.
He added that he was "pleased" the works would start on the improvements early next year.