Heathrow Airport’s new runway will most likely extend over the top of the M25 in a project described as “a deep joy” for engineers.
Expansion director Phil Wilbraham said that Heathrow’s aim would be to leave the M25 in “at least as good a state” as when work started on building the new runway, which will cross the motorway.
However, he added that any upgrades to the M25, for example widening the motorway, would be paid for by Highways England. Wilbraham also discussed the design challenges for how the new runway intersects the M25, describing it as “a deep joy” for engineers.
Having previously stated the motorway could be diverted through a tunnel, Wilbraham revealed the runway will most likely extend over the top of the M25, which could be rerouted to the west and lowered.
“This is exciting stuff for civil engineers,” said Wilbraham, adding that questions around ground conditions and rivers and water courses near the path of the runway would create further challenges.
He has said changes to the M25 directly related to expansion would be entirely privately funded, although any additional alterations would be paid for by Highways England
A government consultation on Heathrow’s expansion ends next week (25 May). Heathrow is planning its own consultation in the summer, before applying for a development consent order (planning permission) in 2019.
Phil Wilbraham was speaking at New Civil Engineer’s Airports 2017 conference in London today.