LACK OF funds is holding back trials in Britain of an US-developed concrete road retexturing technique which is claimed to offer a viable alternative to resurfacing with low-noise blacktop, it was revealed this week.
Last week the European agent for the grinding system claimed it could meet all the English Highway's Agency's requirements, especially on noise. 'But the only way to convince the doubters is to carry out trials in the UK, ' said Roman Buys, managing director of Belgium-based Robuco. 'We would only need between 1,000m 2and 2,000m 2of old concrete road to show the benefits.'
Last month the Agency confirmed that it had abandoned so-called whisper concrete and would be resurfacing all concrete trunk roads with high performance 'negative texture' thin bituminous surfacing over the next 10 years.
The Agency said high performance blacktop was the only way of meeting a government commitment to low noise wearing courses in the 10 year transport plan.
Buys claims that the technique, which uses powerful grinding machines to smooth the road and form longitudinal grooves around 2.5mm wide and up to 7mm deep, costs less than ú3.50/m ($5/m 2), depending on the aggregate used in the original road.
But the Agency said a proper long term trial would cost ú250,000, which would have to come from the system promoters.