Skanska UK Civil Engineering has lifted the final replacement road deck section of the west Dartford Tunnel into place in the early hours of the morning to beat the rush hour for the 275th time in a year.
The company has replaced 415 deck sections covering of 1,423 metres of the Dartford River Crossing’s west tunnel since moving onto site last March.
During overnight road closures the company’s experienced team using specialist techniques and in-house designed and built equipment have ensured that the 30-tonne deck sections were replaced by 5.30am every day.
The company has now renewed almost two-and-a-half kilometres of road in both of Dartford’s tunnels, having completed a similar project in the east tunnel in 1998.
Skanska set up a precasting yard adjacent to Queen Elizabeth II Bridge where the 6.7 metres wide and 3.4 metres long deck sections were constructed during the day shift. Each unit was completed with black top and road markings ready for use when placed in the tunnel.
In a system specially designed for the £9 million contract, the old road deck was severed ahead of replacement, remaining supported on temporary steelwork to allow the tunnel to operate normally during the day.
Skanska also designed and manufactured specialist lifting plant and transportation equipment which allowed sections of the old road deck to be quickly removed during each night’s possession and the new sections placed onto previously constructed supports.