Your browser is no longer supported

For the best possible experience using our website we recommend you upgrade to a newer version or another browser.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser

We'll assume we have your consent to use cookies, for example so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more

Surface argument

I would question Paul Fleetham's comment (NCE 10 April) that 'as so often in life, you get what you pay for'. Also, a word of caution regarding the two changes to the approach to road maintenance referred to.

Firstly, the use of modern negative textured surfaces on local roads has made the situation worse in terms of whole life costs. Such materials, in comparison with hot rolled asphalt, asphaltic concrete (bituminous macadams) and surface dressing, are generally more expensive, require more frequent replacement, and perform poorly when laid over areas of structural weakness. Reliance on such surfaces is unsustainable with current funding.

Secondly, whilst the partnership approach, using longer term "all in" contracts may maximise value, it is vital that experienced and knowledgeable people are involved in preparing all aspects of contract documentation, and undertaking site supervision.

Even with such an approach, any contractor will always look to legitimately exploit loopholes in the contract and maximise profit. If they exist in a long term contract, this can be costly indeed. The recent footway repairs carried out under the Portsmouth 25 year PFI contract may be a case in point.

Frank Bedford (M), frank.bedford@ntlworld.com

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions. Please note comments made online may also be published in the print edition of New Civil Engineer. Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.