THE DARTFORD Crossing will be closed overnight this weekend as bosses prepare for free-flow tolling.

On Saturday the Essex-bound tunnels will be closed and then on Sunday night the QEII bridge will be fully closed, with signed diversions in place via the Blackwall Tunnel.

Project director Nigel Gray said: “This will see the start of massive changes, and by Monday morning we will have Kent bound traffic will be able to use the crossing barrier-free.

“We will be closing the crossing overnight, in one direction at a time, to minimise the disruption while we change the road layout. I advise drivers to plan ahead and allow extra time for their journeys.”

Erwan Huerre of Connect Plus which is carrying out the work, said: “Road users will see the benefit on Kent bound journeys early on, however work on the Essex bound carriageway, approaching the Dartford Tunnels, will take longer to complete.

“In the short term, road users will still need to drive through the old payment plaza, which will remain temporarily to manage traffic flows and maintain safety in the tunnels.

“The main works are due to be completed by spring 2015, which is when the full benefits of Dart Charge will be felt.”

The crossing will be closed, between junction 2 (for the A2) and junction 31 (for the A1306), to Essex bound traffic between 11.30pm on Saturday and 6am Sunday.

It will then be closed to Kent bound traffic between 11.30pm on Sunday and 5.30am Monday.

A diversion route will be in place via the A2, A102 Blackwall Tunnel and A13.
The Blackwall tunnel has a height restriction of 4m northbound, 4.7m southbound and is classed as ‘ADR Category E’ for hazardous goods.

Any vehicles above these height restrictions or carrying dangerous goods will be diverted via the M25.