Contractors have gone the extra green mile resurfacing a dual carriageway on the National Highways network, thanks to recycling over half the materials from the old road back into the new one, which has cut the carbon footprint of the project by 23%.
17,432 tonnes of materials were reused from the layers of road surface saved from landfill, in helping to make the A46 Warwick Bypass smoother and safer for drivers. A stretch of the road had deteriorated to such bad condition, that despite temporary repairs to ensure safety, a full-depth reconstruction was desperately needed.
Kier led the project on behalf of National Highways, recruiting Aggregate Industries (AI) to help carry out the resurfacing on 3.5 miles of the northbound carriageway between Sherbourne roundabout and the Leek Wootton roundabout.
Much of the material in the lower levels contained tar which is classed as carcinogenic and must be dealt with as hazardous waste and disposed of at a licensed waste processing facility.
But tar-bound material can be safely recycled and encapsulated back into the pavement layers by processing and remixing it. Kier and AI devised a low carbon pavement solution for the resurfacing project, and discovered that the greenest and most cost-effective way to do this was by recycling the existing carriageway material and reducing the amount that would have to go to landfill.
The material was mixed on-site to minimise vehicle movements and reduce the scheme’s carbon footprint. Using recycled material meant there was less raw material needed for the works too and without the trips to the waste site as well, around 82,000 road miles were saved on this scheme.
Some 56% of materials were recycled from the old road into the new one. Any remaining material not used in this scheme, which ran between late July and September, was recycled back across the road network through other projects.
National Highways Project Manager, Ryan Davies, said: “We have committed, through our net zero carbon plan, to rapidly cut carbon from road construction, maintenance and operations, and support the transition to zero emission vehicles.
“A vital part of meeting our ambitious objectives is having the support of our supply chain on schemes such as this. Through close collaboration with partners such as Kier and AI we are taking great strides on our journey to net zero carbon.”
National Highways has already started sustained action towards decarbonising England’s motorways and A-roads so they can continue to bring significant benefits to motorists, communities and businesses in a net zero future.
The net zero plan will put roads at the heart of Britain’s net zero future through three key commitments: achieving net zero for National Highways’ own operations by 2030; delivering net zero road maintenance and construction by 2040; and supporting net zero carbon travel on the road network by 2050.
AI’s National Technical Manager, Neil Leake, commented: “Good collaboration and an innovative approach were at the heart of this scheme, with people working together to achieve the same low carbon goal. We had some significant challenges to overcome to make sure this scheme could be delivered on time and still meet the low carbon goal we set ourselves.”
Kier Managing Director, Scott Cooper, added: “This is the first time that Foamix has been used on this type of road on the Area 9 Strategic Road Network and this work on the A46 scheme really demonstrates how innovation and excellent collaboration across the value chain is needed if Kier and our partners are to succeed with reaching our net zero ambition and combatting climate change.”
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