Velocity look to extend the life of local roads with new highway preservation service

Road repair specialist Velocity has launched a new highway preservation service aimed at the UK’s local road network.

Working in partnership with ASI Solutions, Velocity are extending the life of assets currently in a good condition with the application of Rhinophalt, a proven preservative treatment.

Developed by ASI, Rhinophalt is a unique product that has been applied to assets around the world for 22 years. Containing Gilsonite, a naturally occurring bitumen, the product is a resin that is applied onto the road surface, penetrating to depths of over 30mm. Rhinophalt sets hard in any microcracks and air voids, creating a very tough surface that prevents deterioration for a period up to five years.

Treated again on a five-year cycle, the condition of the road is ‘locked-in’, maintaining the surface for 15 years without the need for costly reactive maintenance.

Dr Howard Robinson, ASI Solutions’ Managing Director, said: “With the introduction of the ‘Well Managed Highway Infrastructure’ Code of Practice 18-months ago, it was a good time to engage with local authorities because Rhinophalt can help with their life-cycle planning and reduce whole-life cost.

“I approached Velocity because they’ve got a good track record of bringing through innovation and new technology into the roads market, and would be a very good fit for helping to introduce Rhinophalt preservation to the local authority sector.

“It will treat any type of asphalt that is in green to light amber condition, typically roads that have been surfaced with SMA or thin surface course systems that are around two years from requiring some form of maintenance.

“Authorities that invested heavily in resurfacing works around eight years ago have now got a large amount of roads that are prime for treatment with preservation. If you don’t treat it now, in two years’ time you’ll be doing a lot more to it, potentially filling potholes, cracks, even worse, having to resurface it. Treat it now with Rhinophalt, our preservation system, and that should maintain the condition of that network for at least five years. Treat it again, and treat it again – so an eight year old SMA can be stretched out to 23-24 years life before it will need to be resurfaced.”

HAPAS certified, Rhinophalt was certified following a two-year trial on the M40, the second heaviest trafficked road in England. Critical for successful preservation, the certification identifies that the product contains Gilsonite, a naturally occurring bitumen.

As well as supplying the product, ASI are supporting Velocity with technical knowledge, carrying out a site-inspection survey together to determine appropriateness for the treatment and the design.

Operationally, installation is carried out with just one machine, usually operating at night under road closure. Following a pre-sweep the product is quietly sprayed on to the road with one pass of the machine. No compaction or heavy equipment is required, and because the profile of the road is maintained there is no need to raise ironworks, curb heights or thresholds.

Gavin Blogg, Velocity’s business development manager, said: “Rhinophalt really hits the agenda of prevention rather than cure. The DfT have certainly looked into this and see it as the way forward for local authorities to maintain their asset in a good condition rather than applying more conventional treatments which are more disruptive and costly down the line.

“Following inspection and design we will establish a full delivery plan for customers, treating up to 20,000 – 30,000m2 per shift. Within that shift, traffic-management will be in place, roads will be swept, treated and white-lining and markings reinstalled, ready for the public to use again in the morning.

“We can apply it to any road, be it residential, rural or urban. The feedback from customers has been marvellous. They all see the benefit and where it fits into their asset management strategies.”

The addition of Rhinophalt broadens the scope of treatments that Velocity offers to customers to help maintain the UK’s local roads network.

Since pioneering spray-injection patching in 1990’s, Velocity work in partnership with local authorities throughout the country to bring roads in red or amber condition up to standard at a fraction of the cost of traditional techniques.

Dominic Gardner, Velocity’s managing director, said: “Velocity are very experienced at bringing new products and services to the market, developing that level of trust with local authority clients that they can invest in their network with us and be assured that the treatment will be suitable and extend the life of their asset. We have great confidence that Rhinophalt will do just that.

“We’re very excited to be bringing this product to the market, helping local authority customers to keep their networks in the best condition with the most economically advantageous treatments.”

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