Rapid cure concrete reduces road works on M25

Grant Prior 5 years ago
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A new concrete repair technique being trialled by Connect Plus on the M25 is cutting delays for drivers by 80%

The joint venture between Balfour Beatty, Skanska, Atkins and Egis is using Rapid Cure concrete which cuts the time needed for motorway lane closures from 1,500 hours per year to just 300.

Connect Plus has adapted the technique from the aviation industry where it is used for repairing airport pavements.

It works by introducing a chemical called a super-plasticiser and a curing accelerator to the concrete mix which makes it set much more quickly.

Connect Plus has also introduced other techniques to reduce the duration of concrete repair works including pre-cutting the old concrete and preparing it with lifting eyelets for quicker removal and the use of quick drying heated tents.

The complete process now takes one overnight closure compared to the previous full forty-eight hour closure.

Around 4% of the UK’s motorway network is made of concrete – including nearly 10% of the 400 kilometre M25 network.

The new method also improves safety for road workers as they are exposed to live traffic for less time.

Connect Plus’s supply chain framework partners include Jackson Civil Engineering, Balfour Beatty, Osborne, Skanska, Lafarge Tarmac and Aggregate Industries.

Particular expertise was provided by designer Parsons Brinckerhoff, concrete mix specialists, Grace Construction Products and volumetric mix plant suppliers Axtell and PJ Davidson.

Tim Jones, Chief Executive Connect Plus said: “Motorway closures for the replacement of failed concrete bays are a significant cost to us, our customer and ultimately the road user.

“We’ve been developing the Rapid Cure concrete innovation over many months and it has enabled us to reduce carriageway closure hours by seven weeks this year alone.

“We can achieve this unique innovation, in part, due to our special supplier framework partnership at Connect Plus which incentivises all of us to work together to find solutions for the benefit of the Highways Agency and road users.”

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