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Latest on-road technology used to speed up work on Dartford improvement scheme PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 22 January 2007

The Highways Agency will be using the latest in on-road technology to speed up work on the A2/A282 Dartford improvement scheme.

The Quick Moveable Barrier (QMB) machine will be used to put in place the concrete safety barriers that close off lanes. This job would normally be done by hand. Using the QMB speeds this process up significantly and makes it safer for roadworkers on the scheme.

Using this new technology can take months off the scheme duration and allow more lanes to be open at busy periods.

The giant new barrier transfer machine can lift 12 tons of concrete safety barriers for motorway roadworks into place at a speed of 7 mph, helping the Highways Agency to keep more lanes open for drivers during peak periods and offering a higher level of barrier protection to motorway road workers. The vehicle, which is approximately four metres high and 4.6 metres wide, and weighs 25 tons, has been leased for two years at a cost of around £1million. The QMB machine was successfully used during the construction of a 'crawler' lane for slow-moving vehicles on the A21 Sevenoaks bypass.

Highways Agency project manager, John Martin, said:

"Using the QMB will take months off the project length. The machine places and removes the concrete barriers much quicker than by hand. This means that we not only save us some time, but we can have more lanes running during the busy periods for motorists."

"The QMB has an important safety benefit for our staff as they do not have to be out on a busy road laying cones and by using the concrete barrier they are much more protected against the dangers of traffic."

The scheme includes new roads to link the northbound A282 and the eastbound A2, new lanes will be built on the A2 westbound for traffic joining the M25 going south, and a fourth lane will be added in each direction on the A2 between the M25 and Bean junction.

Two new viaducts will also be built alongside Littledale Viaduct and a flyover over the A2 and M25 as well improvement to drainage and a reduction in noise pollution from using a low noise road surface. The project is expected to be completed in mid 2008.

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