First UK carbon neutral road improvement project

Aaron Morby 1 month ago
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Contractors have completed work on the UK’s first carbon-neutral pavement scheme for Highways England in south Cumbria.

Pavement team laid over a 1,000t of Foamix asphalt per night, working 24 hours a day across two shifts, ensuring minimum disruption to the local area
Pavement team laid over a 1,000t of Foamix asphalt per night, working 24 hours a day across two shifts, ensuring minimum disruption to the local area

Contractor A E Yates teamed up with supplier Aggregate Industries and designers at Amey to deliver the landmark dual carriageway resurfacing project between M6 junction 6 and Brettarg Holt.

Highways England set highly ambitious carbon reduction targets that were met with extensive asphalt recycling through a Foamix asphalt.

Existing road surface planings were recycled and encapsulated back into the pavement by producing a site batched cold recycled asphalt using Aggregates Industries SuperLow asphalt.

This approach captured a huge 43% carbon reduction, compared with conventional resurfacing methods.

In total, 50,000 tonnes of material was extracted from the original pavement and 39,000 tonnes recycled over the course of just six weeks.

This included 11,600 tonnes of asphalt and 27,000 tonnes of foamix laid using wide pavers.

Through its partnership with not-for-profit offset specialist Circular Ecology, Aggregate Industries purchased a number of credits to offset the remaining carbon on the scheme.

Guy Edwards, CEO at Aggregate Industries UK, said: “As the world’s first building materials supplier to commit to hitting net zero emissions by 2050, completing the UK’s first carbon neutral pavement scheme is a landmark achievement for us and demonstrates our commitment to achieving this goal.

“By working collaboratively with Highways England, AE Yates and Amey on the A590 M6 J36 to Brettarg Holt scheme during the early contractor involvement stage, we were able to identify a low-carbon approach designed to provide significant environmental; and in turn, cost benefits, by establishing a best practice approach to greener road surfacing.”

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