QEII Bridge Joint

Replacement Scheme

  • Client
    Connect Plus
  • Value
    £7.7m
  • Duration
    21 months
Collaborating with client Connect Plus and designer Flint & Neill, the Jackson team was challenged with replacing the movement joints on the iconic QEII Bridge at Dartford, without imposing any daytime lane restrictions or speed limits on motorists.
Conventional methods used to replace joints usually involve lengthy lane closures, resulting in chaos for drivers and severe financial penalties for operators.

The team’s solution was a bespoke temporary over-ramp innovation, a world-first for joint replacement on this scale. The system, which won Project of the Year at the British Construction Industry Awards, allowed free-flowing traffic over the bridge while joint replacement works were carried out from underneath.

Bridging plate

The system comprised a bridging plate spanning 4.5m with sinusoidal 40m asphalt ramps providing smooth ride quality, allowing the existing the traffic speed to remain without warning signs. The bridging plate incorporated a finger joint with movement range sufficient to span over two joints in close proximity.

The ramps were modularly designed, and the component weights controlled to allow easy handling with a hi-ab. Special lifting slots and locating guides for placement also enabled quick and safe use. Flawless system reliability enabled night-shifts to be precision timed.

Cost saving

Whilst in-situ, more than 30 million vehicles drove over the ramps, their drivers largely unaware of their presence, or indeed the work going on underneath them.

This highly innovative system, developed collaboratively with the principal parties, enabled this major project to be completed with virtually no disruption to traffic, reducing congestion and saving Connect Plus more than £23 million in road closure costs.

‘Innovative thinking and careful planning enabled the project team to deliver large-scale works with a minimal amount of disruption caused to the travelling public.’

Thomas Whittingham M25 (SE Quadrant) Asset Manager, Highways Agency

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