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Report to offer thaumasite remedy

THE LONG-AWAITED expert group report into thaumasite sulphate attack on structural concrete will contain recommendations for remedial action when it is released later this year.

Led by Professor Les Clark of Birmingham University, the controversial group was set up by construction minister Nick Raynsford in April to identify the causes of thaumasite sulphate attack and to examine ways to deal with the problem (NCE 9/16 April). It will submit its report to the minister in early December.

A spokesman at the Department of Environment, Transport and the Regions said he expected that the report, which will include recommendations on remedial action, would probably be made public before the end of the year.

News that the report will contain advice on how to tackle thaumasite sulphate attack will be welcomed by bridge engineers working on affected structures.

One such project is the A40/M5 Golden Valley interchange between Cheltenham and Gloucester, where thaumasite sulphate attack was discovered on pile caps and support piers. Engineers have held back from carrying out remedial work while waiting for the outcome of the expert group investigation.

(See special feature on the Golden Valley interchange in next week's Highways Management special issue)

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