Construction of junction 10a on the M20 near Ashford in Kent, England is set to begin in the first half of 2018 as work will start on setting up a site compound ahead of main construction.
The M20 is a crucial link to the south coast and the new junction is expected to create job opportunities, improve journeys, and facilitate further inward economic investment for communities along the M20.
The project, which was given the go-ahead in December 2017, is one of four major improvements that will start construction across south east England in the first six months of 2018.
By June 2018, work will also begin on three smart motorway upgrades in Kent, the Solent and on the M23 near Gatwick.
The three projects, together valued at more than £550m ($762.7m), will add 65 miles of new lanes, increase capacity by a third, and introduce new technology to tackle congestion.
Consultations will also be launched on four other upgrades across the region, which will help shape the proposals and route announcements.
In January 2018, a consultation was launched on improving junction 9 of the M3 near Winchester.
A consultation into major improvements of the M25’s interchange with the A3 near Wisley in Surrey will begin in February 2018.
Altogether, 37 projects are expected to reach milestones during the first half of 2018, including seven commencing construction and four improvements opening to traffic.
The upgrades are being funded by the £15bn investment in motorways and main A roads and being delivered by Highways England.
Eighteen major projects have already been opened to traffic since April 2015 and another 16 are currently under construction.
Highways England CEO Jim O’Sullivan said: “These upgrades in the south east will improve millions of journeys.
“Each of these milestones in the region is evidence of Highways England delivering major infrastructure upgrades for the whole country.”