Kent County Council (KCC) has decided to postpone the carriageway reconstruction works, which would have seen the tunnel closed in alternate directions between the end of April and the end of June.
The replacement lighting system and deep carriageway reconstruction works were originally planned to take place at the same time but following a review, it has been decided that the carriageway work will need to be completed at a later date.
The deep reconstruction repairs will be replanned for a date to be confirmed. These works are to strengthen the subsoil below the road construction layers, which has been impacted by drier and hotter summers and wetter winters causing it to expand and contract.
A contraflow system will be introduced to facilitate the essential tunnel lighting works to minimise disruption to the local community, while maintaining a safe working environment for the workforce.
The existing lighting system in the Chestfield Tunnel is at the end of its life and requires replacing as it uses fluorescent lamps, which will no longer be available after 25th August 2023. KCC is therefore planning to replace the lights and its support system with LED technology.
“The lighting replacement in the Chestfield Tunnel needs to happen urgently.”
KCC’s Cabinet Member for Highways and Transport, David Brazier said: “We have listened to people and understand the disruption that these planned, yet essential, maintenance works would cause the local community.
“The lighting replacement in the Chestfield Tunnel needs to happen urgently so we can guarantee the safety of those using it going forward.
“While we had hoped to get the road reconstruction works completed at the same time as the lighting upgrade, the extent of the works is too great to be completed in this timeframe, meaning we will have to revisit at a later date.”
For the safety of our workforce and road users we will be implementing a contraflow system in two phases as this will impact traffic flow less.
The contraflow will be in place eastbound (coastbound) from 5am on Monday 24th April to 5pm on Friday 26th May before switching to the westbound (London-bound) direction between 1am on Tuesday 30th May to 5am on Friday 30th June. A temporary 40mph speed limit will be in place on the A299 Thanet Way in both directions between the Golden Hill overbridge and the Thornden Wood Road overbridge.
The A299 Thanet Way will be closed in both directions between 8pm and 6am on Saturday 22nd April for two nights, for up to two nights from Friday 26th May and Friday 30th June for two nights, to enable the contraflow system to be installed, moved and removed.
Alternative routes are via the A2990 Thanet Way slip way, A291 Canterbury Road and A299 Eddington on-slip for coastbound traffic and the A299 Eddington slip way, A291 Canterbury Road, A2990 Thanet Way, A2990 Clapham Hill and A299 Whitstable slip way for London-bound traffic.