FM Conway hits 80% recycled content in Westminster

27/06/2019

FM Conway has laid a surface course mix in Westminster containing 80% recycled materials - pushing the boundaries of the use of reclaimed asphalt (RA) within road surfaces.

Traditionally RA has been roughly used in up to 50% of the lower layers of roads and 10% for the surface courses of motorways and A-roads, FM Conway said.

This latest use of RA by FM Conway builds on its work with Transport for London. In 2017, the company laid its Surepave E asphalt surface course mix, containing 50% high polished stone value (PSV) recycled aggregate, across 20,000 m2 on the A40 in west London.

As on the A40 project, FM Conway laid the asphalt mix on Sutherland Avenue in Westminster in a single layer 'to increase productivity by reducing the timeframe for the works, as well as the number of lorry movements required'.

These schemes mark what are thought to be the first examples of surface course mixes containing such high proportions of recycled material being used on such highly trafficked roads in the UK outside of trial conditions.

Tim Metcalf, aggregates and asphalt operations director at FM Conway, said: 'With the UK’s materials reserves under pressure, we need to continue to challenge convention and invest in the re-use of highway arisings. This is particularly important in the south east of England, where the issue is not one of replenishment but of the geologically scarcity of high PSV aggregates needed for highway projects. At the same time, advances in the refining industry are cutting the supply of another crucial highway resource, bitumen.

'We’re proud to be working with Westminster City Council in this latest venture to show that high levels of recycled asphalt can and should be safely incorporated into all layers of our roads, helping us to recover precious raw materials like aggregates and bitumen.'

Westminster City Council cabinet member for city management and highways, Tim Mitchell said: 'It’s terrific that we are trialling this new recycled road surface in the city. With 360 million miles driven in the city each year there is a constant demand for resurfacing. Improving waste and recycling rates is increasingly important in Westminster and a top priority for the council so innovations like these must be welcomed.'

Picture shows Westminster City Council Cabinet Member for City Management and Highways, Tim Mitchell & FM Conway Technical Manager, Mark Flint on Sutherland Avenue in Westminster

Correction: This article was amended after FM Conway corrected its use of the term reclaimed asphalt pavement instead of reclaimed asphalt (RA). 

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