Highways England trials ‘anti-ageing cream’ for roads

Aaron Morby 1 week ago
Share

A section of dual carriageway in Northamptonshire has been resurfaced with a pioneering new bitumen mix, being hailed as anti-ageing cream for roads.

The asphalt used to resurface a busy section of the A43 near Silverstone in Northamptonshire is held together by a new bitumen called Styrelf Long Life.

Highways England is working with suppliers Tarmac and Total to put the new surface through its paces, but hopes it will bring big cost and carbon savings.

The new polymer-modified bitumen is designed to be more resistant to the elements by oxidising more slowly. This slower process means that the road surface stays flexible for longer, preventing cracks forming.

Suppliers claim the new asphalt could extend the 10-12 facelift cycle for roads, saving two resurfacing programmes in a 60-year period.

In asphalt savings alone this could save the equivalent of the CO2 produced by an average car if it was driven for more than 270000 miles – more than 10 times around the Earth.

Mike Wilson, Highways England’s chief highways engineer, said: “We’re always looking for innovative ways to help us keep England’s motorways and major A-roads in good condition.

“The ultimate priority for us is safety so we invest in new technology and materials to keep those using the roads safe.

“Longer lasting roads means fewer roadworks, less disruption for motorists and a more sustainable network for everyone.”

Brian Kent, technical director at Tarmac, said: “What we have in this case is essentially an anti-ageing cream for roads – just as these products are designed to reduce and prevent the signs of fine lines and overall ageing of the skin, the new bitumen being trialled on the A43 will protect the road surface.”

Rick Ashton, market development manager at Total, said: “These long-life binders will ultimately lead towards our vision of net zero carbon by 2050 by reducing roadworks, saving manufacturing, transport and installation energy and the associated emissions.

“This trial paves the way for enhanced highways asset management and predictive deterioration modelling for Highways England.”

The new material has previously been tested in the laboratories of Total, at Tarmac’s site in Elstow in Bedfordshire and on sections of road in The Netherlands and Germany. The A43 trial is the first time it has been used with high traffic levels in the UK.

 

Latest news

Construction output surge sees cost inflation hit record high

Buyers report rises in input costs hit near 25-year high as materials shortages bite
8 hours ago

Fire at tower days before Grenfell-style cladding due to be removed

More than 40 people injured during blaze at 19-storey building
4 hours ago

Firms shortlisted for £140m Havant reservoir

Balfour, Hochtief and Mackley/Jones JV hunt main reservoir package
10 hours ago

Blackstone makes £1.2bn bid for St Modwen

Investment giant set to acquire big name developer
10 hours ago

London Chalcots towers £100m reclad out to bid again

Camden Council hopes to let Swiss Cottage estate reclad before the end of this year
1 day ago

Balfour facing strike ballot over “insulting” pay offer

Industrial action ballot planned for workers on £1.5bn Central Rail System Alliance contract
1 day ago

Hill wins 142-home McArthurs Yard job in Bristol

Housing contractor bags first Bristol job at harbourside site
1 day ago

BarhaleDoosan to build organic waste water treatment works

Natural integrated wetland to be built at Clifton wastewater treatment works
10 hours ago

London Nine Elms 12-storey office approved

Construction to start this summer at former Royal Mail site
10 hours ago

Fresh price hike takes structural steel to £800 per tonne

Seventh price hike since last July sees steel sections rise by £50/t
1 day ago

Barratt problem concrete frames and cladding bill hits £163m

House builder sees demand and construction surge but legacy property charges rise
1 day ago

Materials shortages threatening pace of rebound

RICS survey reveals confidence running high but shortages could put brakes on recovery
2 days ago

Henry Boot rejigs senior management

New MDs appointed to head construction and plant operations
1 day ago

Procure Plus plans £1.3bn low carbon housing framework

Firms wanted to supply or fit solar panels and air and ground source heat pumps
1 day ago

Keltbray sells electrical engineering arm to management

MBO at Keltbray Lagan Power three years after contractor acquired majority stake in business
2 days ago

BAM awards £150m worth of Manchester arena packages

North West subcontractors win top billing at Co-op Live project
2 days ago

Contractor Kilnbridge sold to 800-staff ownership trust

Founder of £90m East London contractor sells to workforce trust
2 days ago

ISG chalks up £48m haul of school wins

Deals include a £12m pathfinder 'net zero' school in Bristol
2 days ago

Green light for £37m Dawlish train rockfall shelter

Work to start on 209m long track protection structure this August
2 days ago

Keltbray posts £9.4m loss due to Covid and restructuring

Specialist contractor confident about future with £25m net cash and £224m order book
3 days ago

Construction start date for £200m Basildon scheme

Work to start this autumn on Essex site being developed by Inland Homes and Homes England
2 days ago

New Buro Happold chief to double staff in six years

James Bruce aims rapidly to grow engineering consultant into a global player
3 days ago

Atkins raids Skanska for new finance director

Jo Jarman returns to consultant as new finance director
3 days ago

Kier wins £15m Braintree enterprise centre

Building work at Great Notley to start later this month
3 days ago

Big name concrete firms miss out on major HS2 deal

Skanska Costain Strabag JV awards major package to Kelly Formwork
3 days ago

Covid shakes-up Top 30 M&E contractors rankings

Several M&E firms grow despite 9% fall in revenue last year among top 30 specialists.
3 days ago

Bylor builds second Hinkley reactor shell a third faster

Next massive prefabricated steel ring section for reactor building lifted in by Big Carl
3 days ago

Plans in for 700-bed Nottingham student scheme

Next phase of The Island Quarter scheme submitted for approval
3 days ago

M Group rebrands Skanska highways arm as Milestone

New business launched as £50m takeover deal signed off
4 days ago

Henry Boot to start £110m Walsall logistics project

Remedial works to start at 620,000 sq ft Phoenix 10 logistics scheme
4 days ago

Contractor services