Heathrow link road gets upgraded

21/07/2014
Highways Reporters

Hounslow Highways and Eurovia UK have completed work on one of the main link roads to Heathrow Airport.

Hounslow Highways has worked with the firm’s UK divisions including surfacing, contracting, specialist treatments and Euromark, to complete road reconstruction works on Stanwell Road West.

A scheme of specialist engineering designation (SSED), the works were carried out as part of Hounslow Highways’ core investment period to bring the borough’s roads and pavements up to standard and to maintain them for the duration of the 25-year contract.

A large number of heavy goods vehicles and buses use the 50mph dual carriageway resulting in significant loading on the road. It therefore required a more detailed maintenance plan for this critical route to ensure it is fit for purpose for many years to come.

Initially, Stanwell Road West was identified for complete reconstruction from the foundation level up due to rutting and reflective cracking. However extensive coring, trial holes, California Bearing Ratio tests and Falling Weight Deflectometer tests carried out in collaboration with Test Consult and Jean Lefebvre UK revealed that there were no issues with the concrete carriageway base.

As a result, a new solution was designed by technical consultancy Jean Lefebvre UK to treat any cracks and joints in the concrete and allow for Flexiplast to be applied on top of a regulating course prior to the installation of the asphalt layers. As well as the reconstruction works on the road, a new central reservation was also installed.

Hounslow Highways service director Rob Gillespie said: “Through carrying out extensive investigations, we found that the concrete could be left in situ and overlaid with a stress absorbing membrane to prevent reflective cracking. Using the latest asphalt materials, we were able to structurally improve the road.”

In addition to finding an engineering solution, another challenge faced by Hounslow Highways was finding a way to ensure the smooth running of the works by coordinating the specialist contractors and engaging a wide range of agencies.

Gillespie added: “As the principle contractor, Hounslow Highways was responsible for coordinating the contractors and engaging with the different agencies affected by road closures and diversions. Due to the nature of Flexiplast which has to be laid in dry weather, we had to ensure the timings for each stage of the works were exactly right.”
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