Lower Thames Crossing - Communities

Work near you

To improve the design of the proposed Lower Thames Crossing, and help us plan how we build it, we are currently undertaking a series of works at locations throughout North Kent and Essex. These works are to help us refine our plans ahead of our application for the Development Consent Order. (Read more about our survey works in our leaflet.)

Our current phase of survey works will continue until early 2021.

We are continuing with the following works:

Ground Investigation Surveys

Cable percussion boreholes is the most common technique that we’re using. This involves a 7m tall frame lowering drilling tools up to 60m deep. These survey works are mainly on private farm land along or near to the proposed route.

Read more about our ground investigation surveys.

We are digging shallow trenches with mechanical excavators to assess the archaeological features of a site. The trenches are approximately 30 metres long and 2 metres wide. These survey works are mainly on private farm land along or near to the proposed route.

Read more about archaeological trial trenching.

We are digging small trenches either by hand-digging or with the use of a vacuum excavator, before scanning for existing below-ground utilities. Some survey locations include public roads which may require either a full road closure or lane closure with temporary traffic lights.

Read more about utility trial trenching.

We will be installing small survey nails along and near to the proposed route, this includes on private land and public pathways or roads.

These survey nails will enable us to identify the geographic coordinates of the proposed route and associated works. This will help us with our designs which in turn also helps us to better plan how we would build the project. 

These will be installed between late September and October 2020. 

What to expect

  • A small team of staff will first use equipment to identify where the survey nail will be installed, which is typically on public roads or footpaths.
  • The survey nails are between 5mm and 10mm in width and take around 10-15 minutes to install into the ground. The above ground height of the nail will be approximately 2mm to 5 mm as they are designed to ensure that they are not a trip hazard.
  • Once installed, our staff will use equipment to establish the geographic coordinates, this can take up to one hour or six hours, depending on the location.
  • It is also possible that our staff will re-visit the survey nail on occasions.

The survey nails will be a series of points where we measure the Easting, Northings and Height at each location using a Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS). We will then calculate the distance and angles between them.

This allows us to create a grid of known coordinates, which would allow us to position the proposed route with accuracy and help us with our designs and plans to build the project. 

An example of a survey pin once installed into the ground.

An example of the type of equipment that will be used to identify the survey location and establish its coordinates.


Information for land and property owners

Highways England have produced a series of booklets to provide assistance to land and property owners located near the proposed Lower Thames Crossing.

Legacy and benefits

We are working with our stakeholders to identify opportunities to help local communities. The design will deliver enormous benefits, but we want to do more. We want to leave a lasting legacy for both residents and visitors. That could mean new walking, cycling and horse riding networks, creating apprenticeships and jobs as well as identifying volunteering opportunities.

We have already started working with local stakeholders, organisations and groups to identify the best areas to concentrate on.

We will be publishing more information on our approach to maximising the benefits of the scheme in the future, sign up for alerts.

Local engagement events

One way we are supporting local businesses, particularly SMEs, is through our partnership with the Supply Chain School, you can register for the upcoming events.

Business engagement

We continue to engage with a broad range of businesses across Essex and Kent, including ports, freight companies and retail organisations, as well as business representative groups, through which we can reach their member networks of thousands of businesses across the region.

We work to build relationships with these businesses and organisations, by updating them every step of the way on the development of the project, and hearing their views about how the Lower Thames Crossing will enable their businesses to grow.

East Kent College Group 

The Lower Thames Crossing and Me (Essex businesses)

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