Highways England is consulting from the 26 January 2016 until 24 March 2016 on options for the Lower Thames Crossing, which is a new road crossing for the River Thames connecting Kent and Essex.
A new crossing is needed to reduce congestion at the existing Dartford Tunnel Crossing as well as to support economic growth. Highways England recommends that the scheme be at Location C on the map below, following Route 3, with a bored tunnel crossing and an Eastern Southern Link, best matches the scheme objectives and balances the needs of road users, the community, the environment and business. The estimated construction cost is EUR 5.67-7.78 billion. Highways England proposes a 24 km dual carriageway leaving Junction 1 of the M2 motorway in north Kent close to the edge of Rochester, via the Eastern Southern Link, crossing the River Thames in a over 3 km twin bored tunnel just east of Gravesend and Tilbury, and joining the M25 between Junctions 29 and 30 near South Ockendon, with a possible further link to the M20 (C Variant).
Three route options north of the river (Routes 2, 3 and 4) and two south of the river (Eastern and Western Southern Links) meet the scheme objectives and will be taken forward to consultation. There will be 24 public exhibitions, held at venues across Kent and Essex. Final decision will be made by the Government later this year after public consultation. Visit https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/lower-thames-crossing-route-options and https://highwaysengland.citizenspace.com/cip/lower-thames-crossing-consultation and http://www.lower-thames-crossing.co.uk/. 04/16.