Kier says using rapid-setting material saves economy millions

Highways Reporters

Kier Highways is trumpeting its use of an innovative new material to cut lane closures on an M6 repair scheme by 35 days.

It says it saved UK Plc £35m on a single project, by using the rapid setting material, because it was able to implement a different traffic management model and prevent a lane closure, keeping three narrow lanes, on the M6 Monday to Friday throughout the project.

It adds that the lane closure would have caused an average 45 minute additional delay from Monday to Thursday, increasing to 55 minutes on a Friday, which on a scheme of 7 weeks duration equates to a £35m impact on GDP, and that the weekend delivery model was viable because the innovative rapid setting material reaches design strength in 18 hours instead of the traditional 3 day duration.

In total, 38 repair specialists worked 9,723 hours overnight and weekends to repair damaged concrete and waterproofing material underneath the road. As part of the scheme, 130m of expansion joints were also installed to provide additional strength and flexibility to the carriageway, which is used by tens of thousands of motorists every day.

Dave Wright, executive director, Kier Highways said, “In close collaboration with our clients and supply chain, we’ve intentionally focussed on pioneering new ways of doing things. Sometimes its new ways of working, sometimes its new products and sometimes its new technology, but they all provide ways to deliver a more efficient and cost effective solution, increase safety and reduce disruption for the travelling public.

“This ranges from being the first, with partner Chevron, to ban carriageway crossings, now a pan industry standard, to pioneering the 1,000 tonne approach (tripling the amount of black top laid in a single evening) now used widely across the sector.

“The use of this new material is testament to having a collaborative client in Highways England, and offers tremendous scope for reducing disruption nationwide. Having extensively trialled the product, we were trusted to use this new method and it has yielded excellent results, both in the efficiencies and savings, and in the quality of the solution.”

Highways England project manager Jessica Kenny said, “The material cures quicker and gains density as it dries meaning that repair crews can work faster to carry out repairs without having to wait as long for it to dry.

“Safety is always our number one priority and these repairs were vital in helping us to protect this busy stretch of road for years to come.”
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