Kvaerner Construction has been awarded a £9 million contract by Dartford River Crossing Limited to replace the road deck in the west tunnel of the Dartford River Crossing.
The latest contract, which follows the successful completion of similar work in the east tunnel three months ahead of schedule, involves the replacement of 410 individual deck sections which cover 1,428 metres of the road. They will be removed and replaced six nights a week between 8.30pm and 5.30am to avoid unnecessary disruption to traffic with the tunnel reopening in time for the morning rush hour.
The key to the success of the project is Kvaerner Construction’s detailed planning and construction methods which were successfully used in the east tunnel and have since been further refined.
Preparation work for the new road deck will be carried out in a pre-casting facility located adjacent to the site beside the Queen Elizabeth II Bridge. Each of the deck sections, which measure 3.4 metres by 6.7 metres wide and weigh up to 30 tonnes, will have black top and road markings laid on them prior to their installation.
A system designed specially for the contract will allow the old road deck to be severed with diamond sawing and coring ahead of replacement and be supported on temporary steelwork so that the tunnel can operate normally during the day.
Lifting plant and transport equipment, which is being manufactured in-house at Kvaerner Construction’s Doncaster site, will allow sections of the old road deck to be removed during each night’s possession with the new sections being placed onto previously-constructed supports.
Work on the 70- week contract will start this month for completion early in 2001.
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