M25 motorway widening complete

A MAJOR widening project on the M25, which has seen a 50mph limit set from the South Mimms A1 junction, has been completed.

Drivers on the M25 are now benefiting from 38 miles of increased capacity as two major improvement schemes have been finished – on time and ahead of the Olympics.

Two sections of the motorway, in Hertfordshire and Essex, have been widened as part of the �6.2billion project.

An extra fourth lane has been added in each direction between junctions 16 (Uxbridge/M40) and 23 (South Mimms/A1) and between junctions 27 (Epping/M11) and 30 (Thurrock/A13).

A special ceremony was held at Skanska Balfour Beatty’s project office in London Colney today (Monday) to mark the occasion.

Roads Minister Mike Penning said: “Our motorways are the backbone of Britain, getting people to and from work, powering the economy and keeping families connected. Increasing capacity on the M25 will tackle congestion, help keep traffic moving and improve journey time reliability.”

Work on the first section of widening between Junctions 16 and 18 began in May 2009; and two months later the junction 27-30 work started.

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Throughout the work temporary narrow lanes were used for safety, while three lanes were open to traffic in both directions at all peak times.

The projects have seen more than 11million man hours worked; and the installation of 125 gantries, including the largest in single span gantry in Europe. Around 130,000 trees, shrubs and plants have been planted and more than 2,800 animals moved to new habitats.

At least 90 per cent of the aggregates used in the widening has been recycled too.