The B871 between Syre and Kinbrace in Sutherland has been used as a test in an international project. It is aimed at developing innovative maintenance and management techniques for low traffic volume roads.
ROADEX is a co-operative project between the northernmost roads districts of Finland, Norway, Sweden and Scotland, which share a number of problems. Scandinavian consultant Roadscanners is managing the second phase and has been carrying out tests.
The B871 is the main ROADEX Scottish test road for the Highlands. It provides access to Forest Enterprise forests and has grown to meet modern traffic. The regular haulage of timber was a problem and the road was studied using techniques such as ground penetrating radar and coring.
This provided a baseline of the road's condition from which predictive assessments and rehabilitation measures could be carried out. It is possible to predict what will happen if heavy haulage is allowed over a particular road, says Roadscanners managing director Timo Saarenketo.
The predictions have been successful, and the principles are now being applied on other Highland roads.
www. roadscanners. com www. roadex. org