Concrete roads gets resin injection to prolong life

12/01/2022
Dominic Browne

Injecting a 'tough, durable resin' into concrete roads to help extend the pavement life is being trialled on a section of the M180 in North Lincolnshire.

Work started last autumn on the £5.2m National Highways scheme, which has seen the top layer of the road planed off to expose around 30,000 square metres of concrete.

Around 20,000 holes are set to be drilled into the concrete, which will be filled with short, narrow tubes called packers.

'Resin is then injected into the packers through the concrete, which forces out any water held underneath, the resin then hardens and stabilises the concrete base before the carriageway is resurfaced,' National Highways said.

The scheme covers the hard shoulder, lane one and lane 2 of the eastbound carriageway between junctions 1 (Tudworth) and 3 (Midmoor), near Scunthorpe.

This section has experienced issues with water getting through carriageway joints and under the concrete. The pressure of passing?vehicles causes the concrete to push the water back up through the joints causing the surface to deteriorate.

Esref Ulas, National Highways project manager, said: 'The M180 was built around 40 years ago and has served our customers well but recently we’ve had to carry out a number of unplanned roadworks on this section due to water damage, which we know has been frustrating for people.

'This new approach to stabilising the concrete should make those unplanned roadworks a thing of the past. The resin is designed for longevity and should extend the life of the road’s surface by another 10 years or more.'

The resin injection technique is being carried out by Metrail Construction Ltd and has been developed from the firm's experience stabilising tunnels in rail infrastructure, including on the London Underground.

This is the first time it has been used on England’s strategic road network.

Martyn Sherwood, managing director of Metrail said: 'We are particularly pleased to be working closely with National Highways to introduce this innovative technique to the maintenance of the UK’s strategic road network.

'The unique formula of the resin used and its rapid hardening capability, which allows carriageways to be opened much more quickly, is cost-effective and a gamechanger for concrete road maintenance in the UK.

'We are looking forward to continuing to support National Highways in meeting its maintenance objectives going forward.'

Once the concrete stabilisation is complete a second phase of the project to repair and seal the joints between the concrete slabs will be carried out.

The whole programme of work is due to end in February.

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