A249 Grovehurst Road improvement works extended by six months

The A249 at the Grovehurst Road junction
Improvements to the A249 Grovehurst Road junction were due to be completed at the end of 2024 -Credit:Google Maps

Disruptive roadworks on the A249 near Sittingbourne and the Isle of Sheppey have now been extended by around six months. Improvements to the A249 Grovehurst Road junction are underway, having commenced in September last year.

Due to persistent congestion in the area and infrastructural needs posed by the planned construction of over 4,600 new homes along the A249 corridor from the junction with the M2 to the Isle of Sheppey, it was decided that a complete revamp of the junction would be carried out. The £38.6 million scheme, £38.1 million of which came from the Housing Infrastructure Fund Grant, will see the existing ‘dumbbell junction’ replaced with a two-bridge flyover.

This will involve the removal of the current roundabouts and the construction of an additional bridge to create a loop over the A249. Works were expected to be completed by the end of 2024, however Kent County Council’s Highways department has confirmed that the timescale of the project has been extended, with the scheme now due to be finished by June 2025.

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KCC’s contractor building the scheme, Jackson Civil Engineering, has said the delay is caused in part by the constraints on the traffic management that can be implemented. At the end of last year, the A249 southbound had to be fully re-opened while alternative solutions were found to prevent extensive delays to traffic leaving the Isle of Sheppey.

Further constraints were implemented due to Network Rail completing repairs at the nearby Kingsferry Bridge. Other factors that have led to the extension of the timeline include issues trapping reptiles found on site to be safely relocated, alongside delays with utility works.

It is now estimated that the northbound exit and entry slip roads, heading towards the Isle of Sheppey, will reopen in August 2024. Traffic management on the A249 will be lifted in January 2025 and all other roadworks will be completed in May 2025.

KCC’s Cabinet Member for Highways and Transport, Neil Baker, said: “I understand the news of the delay to our timeline for the A249 Grovehurst Road Improvement Scheme will be disappointing to many. The additional time that our traffic management has put on peoples’ journeys is something that we monitor very closely and keep under constant review.

“With a clearer timeline, we will be able to concentrate our efforts on making sure our project remains on track so the people living and working around the A249 can look forward to smoother and more reliable journeys.” See below for the full details of the current traffic management in place at the A249 for the Grovehurst Road junction improvements.

A249 northbound

  • As of 8pm on Tuesday, May 7 the northbound exit slip heading to the Isle of Sheppey is closed until the morning of Friday, August 30. One lane of the northbound exit slip will be reopened during the urgent repairs to the Kingsferry Bridge planned at various times in June and July, to minimise disruption as best as possible.

  • The northbound entry slip remains closed until August 2024.

  • Northbound lane 1 is closed from after the entry slip from the Bobbing junction to the Grovehurst junction, until summer 2024.

A249 southbound

  • Southbound lane 1 is closed from after the entry slip from the Kingsferry Bridge to the Grovehurst Rd junction, until summer 2024.

Diversion routes are in place and have been clearly marked. Signage has been installed to let drivers know that Sheppey Way is not suitable for HGVs.

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