New resurfacing process speeds up roadworks

Highways England is using “pioneering” technology to resurface a 10-mile stretch of the A1(M) southbound carriageway in north Yorkshire.

The new technique involves recycling the old surface on-site and using it to create a fresh, smooth road — making road resurfacing faster and more efficient.

A machine called a cold repaver grinds up the old surface and combines it with fresh bitumen and cement before laying it back down immediately.

This method will see around 100,000 tonnes of tarmac being laid in a faster manner than usual, with 60% less waste going to landfill.

Highways England project manager Ted Chamberlain said: “We used this method last year on the northbound carriageway and it was a great success. The machine allows us to reconstruct bigger areas of road much faster. The wagons don’t have to make anywhere near as many trips, and the new road lasts a lot longer, meaning we won’t need to repeat the process for up to 20 years.

“This technology was rolled out in 2016 when we resurfaced a stretch of the A1 in Northumberland, and the lessons we learnt from that work gave us the chance to refine the process and provide an even smoother journey for drivers.”

The resurfacing work is due to start this week, and is expected to be completed by the end of the year.

The announcement comes as new figures suggest that Britain’s roads are gradually improving.

Between April and June this year, RAC patrols attended 2,149 call-outs for damaged shock absorbers, broken suspension springs and distorted wheels — faults most likely due to poor road surfaces. That’s down from 3,276 similar breakdowns recorded in the first three months of the year.

In the 12 months to the end of June there were 8,885 pothole-related call-outs — the lowest figure for any 12-month period since the third quarter of 2007 when there were 8,401 such breakdowns.

“The benign winter coupled with the maintenance work that has taken place hopefully puts us in a better position than we have been in for several years,” said RAC Breakdown spokesman Simon Williams.

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