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Rubber road surface faces new test

RENEWED CONFIDENCE in crumb rubber asphalt has led to a new East Sussex County Council trial which starts on the A271 at Battle next week.

In a previous trial, the low noise thin surfacing material, laid in Surrey on the A244 in November 1998, broke up after just six weeks (NCE 21 January 1998).

Engineers now believe that this failure was due to cold weather during laying so the latest trial is timed to take place before winter sets in.

'We have found that this material is more temperature susceptible than conventional hot rolled asphalt, ' said Brian Hicks, business manager with Colas, which introduced the material from France, where 500,000m 2have been laid since 1994.

The asphalt uses rubber from ground up tyres to replace the fine aggregate in the asphalt mix, in the ratio of one tyre to every 2m 2of surfacing.

The effect of the rubber is to reduce roadside tyre noise by up to 8dB, more than the comparable low noise porous asphalt.

The cost is about 15% higher than conventional asphalt surfacing.

East Sussex County Council will lay 4,500m 2of the material on North Trade Road in Battle, where residents often complain about traffic noise.

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