With Heathrow gaining the Government’s endorsement for their runway expansion in November, many within that management team were, rightly, over the moon.  A long campaign for the expansion had been fought and they had won a lengthy battle with rival airport Gatwick, who had also been competing to provide the newest runway.  The future for Heathrow airport had been won.

Now comes the logistical headache of turning that dream into 17 billion pounds worth of fully functioning, two mile runway, all whilst incorporating the M25, London’s main orbital route.  Easy.

With Heathrow Airport located directly next to the M25 motorway, the increased capacity at the airport will inevitably require enormous improvements to the M25.  These improvements are not only necessary to cope with the thousands of extra passengers soon to be flooding junctions 13 & 14, but will also be necessary to accommodate the runway itself.

To counter act both issues, plans unveiled earlier this month have the airport considering the construction of its third runway across a series of viaducts that would cross above the M25.  These viaducts would consist of three parallel bridges, with the widest bridge hosting the runway itself, with two thinner viaducts providing taxiways for planes. 

Despite being an enormously ambitious project (likely causing an untold number of contraflows for those unfortunate enough to pass through through those junctions), transport secretary Chris Grayling has hinted that the viaduct solution could well be the project to get the green light moving forwards.  Re-routing the motorway had been suggested, however these plans would appear dead in the water after Mr Grayling suggested that the viaduct proposal would be both “cheaper and quicker” than any potential relocation of the motorway.

Despite the M25 relocation being one of the main headaches for the Heathrow expansion, whatever the outcome, it promises an exciting opportunity for the construction sector and all those within it, an opportunity that we at Unite People are well aware of.

Along with our contacts, we’ll be paying very close attention to developments over the coming months, keeping you updated as soon as any plans have been confirmed, mobilising immediately to ensure that our clients will be the ones first through the door. 

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