We are always looking for new ways to make sure we deliver the best value for money when maintaining Hampshire’s 5,000 miles of roads. This means trying out new machinery, material and technology, testing the next innovation, and thinking a bit differently about how we solve problems.
We’ve been trying out a ‘Roadmaster’ recently. It can be operated by a single person to carry out hundreds of metres of patching in a single shift, without the need to close roads. It can work successfully in rural and urban areas and because it mixes fresh material on the vehicle, there is no waste.
Until now, highways maintenance crews had to collect fresh hot asphalt material from production plants before heading out to repair roads. This can take up valuable time from the day’s schedule and can lead to some material not being used once it has begun to cool down. These new mixers produce hot material on the spot, so the right amount can be used when it’s needed, saving both time and money.
We recently won an industry award with our partners Amey and Allasso for developing a new way to use HBM (hydraulically bound macadam). Traditionally, tar taken up in road repairs has had to be disposed of at specially licensed facilities because it is a hazardous material. This has stopped us re-using existing road surfacing. This new process means the material can be treated and put back into the highway without the need for heat or new aggregate material, which saves money and is better for the environment.
We’ve just finished a successful trial of a new asphalt material that can be used at a lower temperature. Normally, asphalt has to be heated to 180-190 degrees to work effectively, but this new asphalt material can be used at significantly lower temperatures, which is better for the environment and also means it doesn’t take as long to heat the material, or for the material to be ‘trafficked’ once it has been laid.
Asphalt preservation liquid
We’ve just started on a small programme of work using a liquid sprayed into the road surface to make it more resistant to weather and deterioration. This works best on fairly new road surfaces (around five years old). A quick and effective treatment, it minimises disruption to the travelling public.
New pothole repair techniques
We are currently trialling some new and innovative processes for quickly repairing potholes and other surface defects. One of these involves filling a pothole with dry stone and then applying a special liquid that mixes with the stone and self levels. The top surface is then lightly dressed with clean stone before being trafficked. The whole process takes no more than 20 minutes.
*Our thanks to our partner Amey for use of the photo in this feature.