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Highways England rolls out innovative road surface

a64 resurfacing

Highways England, its engineering contractors and Tarmac have team up to develop a new road surface which provides increased skid resistance and lasts longer than traditional surfaces.

The team has just used it on the A64 in York, on a section close to the Bramham roundabout.

Called Ultigrip, it has a tough textured finished, which aims to provide skid resistance on a long term basis and make the road safer for drivers at junctions and on slip roads. It also lasts three times longer than traditional surfaces and needs less maintenance and repair. It can also be laid in a single pass, meaning less time on site.

CH2M, Colas and Costain joint venture A-one+ Area 12 general manager Brian Statham said: “We were looking for ways to improve safety for drivers especially at busy junctions and on slip roads. Working with our supply partner Tarmac we developed the innovative Ultigrip as a design solution to give tough textured finish and long-term skid resistance.

“Ultigrip requires less maintenance which means fewer closures, it is good for our road workers and our customers as well as creating savings for the taxpayer by reducing whole life costs. And, the improved surface grip makes for a better, safer journey.”

The team replaced the existing high friction surfacing and surface course with 2,450m2 of single layer 40mm Ultigrip surface course, weighing 250t.

It uses a calcined bauxite aggregate as the principal constituent with a specialist polymer modified binder to give a tough, textured finish with long term skid resistance.

Calcined bauxite is produced by heating the bauxite ore in a kiln to a temperature of more than 1,200C and is predominantly used in the refractory industry.

By laying 40mm Ultigrip in one single layer, it eliminated the need for a second operation to apply high friction surface material over a newly laid 40mm surface course, minimising the length of time to complete the job and the amount of vehicles needed on site.

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