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A26 fully reopened after May ground collapse

Kent County Council has confirmed that the A26 Tonbridge Road in Maidstone has fully reopened for the first time since a void was discovered below the road at the end of May.

a26 sinkhole

a26 sinkhole

Initial investigations revealed a large areas of soft ground and voids

The council has said that it has spent over £1M and 8,000 hours of work have been invested in repairing the ground collapse.

The road was closed after a small hole in the carriageway was found to extend some way under the road on 28 May.

Keller started work on a programme of compaction grouting in July to backfill the numerous voids and soft areas of ground identified during initial ground investigation of the site. In total over 1,000t of grout was placed in the ground to depths of up to 11m.

“The significant work we’ve done with ground stabilisation and renewal of utility infrastructure will increase resilience against future failure and prevent the need for any further utility works,” said Kent County Council cabinet member for highways Mike Whiting.

“While I appreciate residents’ frustration with the time it has taken, this has been a huge undertaking and something we have never dealt with before. It required specialist contractors which are not always readily available, as well as significant planning.

“I’d like to say thank you for the hard work that has gone into ensuring the road is once again safe and open for use.”

No details have been released about the cause of the ground collapse but sinkhole specialist Clive Edmonds, who is a partner at Peter Brett Associates, suggested that it could have been linked to recent road works and periglacial weathering effects causing cambering of the Hythe Formation.


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