Sustainable road repair technology trialled in the Royal Borough

VolkerHighways and the Royal Borough of Windsor & Maidenhead has recently trialled a sustainable and efficient way of repairing defects in pavements and roads.

Infrared technology was used to repair the north footway of the A30 London Road, Sunningdale, from Evergreen to Devenish Road, by ‘recycling’ the existing material. Infrared technology is used to heat up the existing asphalt, in need of repair, without burning the surface. It can then be reworked easily, using hand tools, and reused before a rejuvenator is added to the heated asphalt, along with additional material, as required, according to VolkerHighways.

When new material is added, it is heated at 170 degrees Celsius, ensuring all materials are at exactly the right temperature. As a result, the materials ‘fuse’ together, eliminating the risks associated with ‘cold’ joints and the potential failure of the adjacent pavement. Lastly, the area is reprofiled, so that it is level, and compacted, the company said.

The treatment increases the durability of the repairs, by eliminating weaknesses created by additional joints in the surface, giving it a longer lifespan.

The trial was a great success and will be added to VolkerHighways’ and the Royal Borough’s already established range of road treatment options, helping to reduce the carbon footprints of both organisations. 

Councillor Gerry Clark, cabinet member for transport and infrastructure, said: “The Royal Borough is committed to exploring alternative, more sustainable and efficient ways to keep our highways in good working order and the benefits of this technology are far-reaching.

“This process is more energy-efficient, is less labour intensive, resulting in greater productivity, and reduces the need for excavation, making it safer and easier for access requirements. It is also more environmentally friendly, with zero materials waste and delivers carbon savings compared to traditional construction. There are also benefits for residents, with less noise and vibration, no dust and fewer people working on site.”

Kunle Kolaru, operations director for VolkerHighways, said: “As part of the ongoing focus on sustainability, VolkerHighways and the council teamed up to explore how new, environmentally-friendly initiatives can be employed around the borough.

“This has already included trialling a new electric road sweeper in Windsor, the first of its kind to be commercially available in the country, to accompany the three fully electric vans already in use for highway inspections. We are also recycling material gathered during gully cleansing, so that it can be repurposed. In addition, we completed patching repairs on manhole covers on Castle Hill roundabout in Maidenhead, as part of an innovative mastic asphalt repair system trial.”

These road innovations support the council’s commitment to its Environment and Climate Strategy, and its target of net zero carbon emissions by 2050, at the latest, as well as VolkerHighways’ Carbon Reduction Strategy and  People-Planet-Purpose strategy.

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