Published: 17:19, 30 June 2020
| Updated: 19:13, 30 June 2020
A major road is set for a massive £4.4m overhaul - which will see its deteriorating surface reconstructed.
The A299 Thanet Way has been granted a major cash injection, as part of Boris Johnson's £5 billion "new deal", which promises investment in hospitals, schools and roads to help the economy cope in the wake of the pandemic.
Announcing the plans today, the Prime Minister revealed £100m has been earmarked for local road schemes - with a project labelled the 'A299 Thanet Way renewal scheme' one of 29 to receive a share.
But for years, large sections of the route have been left with an undulating surface, caused by clay beneath the road which swells and contracts at different rates.
But now, KCC will use the £3.98m of government funding it has been granted to reconstruct the carriageway, while contributing £442,000 of its own funds.
The local authority plans to fully reconstruct more than a mile of the road, by digging down to depths of about a metre and replacing the material.
In funding application documents sent to the Department for Transport last year, KCC described urgent repair work it has carried out to remedy the Thanet Way's poor surface in recent years.
This has included introducing uneven road warning signs, temporary speed restrictions and lane closures, and works to remove hazardous sections of uneven carriageway.
But these measures have not solved the issues caused by underlying clay.
A KCC spokesman said: "Our proposal will significantly increase the strength of construction layers and their resistance to underlying clay soil movement.
"This will ensure that the road remains fit for purpose so that it can continue to benefit the Kent economy, particularly in east Kent as this is an historically disadvantaged area, for many years to come."
They added that the major project will cost less in the long-term than interventions like temporary speed restrictions and road resurfacing, which KCC estimates would cost up to £20m over the next decade.
They believe the renewal scheme will help reduce congestion by avoiding lengthy lane closures that are usually in place while remedial works are carried out, while also improving road safety, and strengthening local infrastructure for future housing developments.
The plans have been welcomed by Thanet MPs Craig Mackinlay and Sir Roger Gale.
Mr Mackinlay said: "I am delighted that Thanet will be one of the very first beneficiaries of the Prime Minister’s New Deal for Britain, kick-starting our recovery from coronavirus.
“Upgrading the A299 will bring huge benefits to our local area, alleviating traffic problems, reducing congestion, pollution and better connecting our community with the rest of the country.”
North Thanet's MP, Sir Roger Gale, added: “Clearly the last thing that we want is for work to start during what we still hope will be a good, if short, summer holiday season, but I hope that we can get cracking very fast in the Autumn.
"I am pleased that North Thanet will be one of the very first beneficiaries of the PMs 'New Deal for Britain'."
No start date for the project has yet been confirmed.
More by this authorLydia Chantler-Hicks