First carbon neutral roadworks completed in UK
By Leila Steed26 January 2021
Aggregates Industries recyles cold asphalt off site, to lay 1,000 tonnes of road per night
The Contracting Services division of Aggregates Industries (AI) has completed work on the UK’s first carbon neutral pavement scheme.
AI worked with principal contractor AE Yates and design company AMEY to deliver the A590 M6 J36 scheme for Highways England - the government company responsible for the operation, maintenance and improvement of the country’s motorways and major A roads.
The project saw AI carry out resurfacing works to the A590 road and the roundabout at junction 36 on the M6 motorway to Brettarg Holt, which is located north of the city of Manchester.
AI removed the top 32cm (12.5in) of the existing pavement surface and used it to produce an ex situ cold recycled asphalt. This was then mixed with the company’s SuperLow asphalt to make a carbon neutral paving surface.
Guy Edwards, CEO at Aggregate Industries UK, said: “As the world’s first building materials supplier to commit to hitting net zero emissions by 2050, completing the UK’s first carbon neutral pavement scheme is a landmark achievement for us and demonstrates our commitment to achieving this goal.
“By working collaboratively with Highways England, AE Yates and Amey on the A590 M6 J36 to Brettarg Holt scheme during the early contractor involvement stage, we were able to identify a low-carbon approach designed to provide significant environmental; and in turn, cost benefits, by establishing a best practice approach to greener road surfacing.”
According to the company, a SiteBatch mixing plant was used to provide a continuous Foamix material. This was supported by a fleet of Volvo Moxy dumper trucks, which transferred materials to site and returned the extracted planings. AI said this allowed the team to lay “over 1,000 tonnes of Foamix asphalt per night, working 24 hours a day across two shifts”, which minimised disruption.
A total of 50,000 tonnes of material was extracted from the original pavement, of which around 38,000 tonnes was recycled over the course of just six weeks. This included roughly 11,500 tonnes of asphalt and 27,000 tonnes of foamix, which was laid using wide pavers. AI said a further 20,000 tonnes would be reused on other projects, such as the A590 Cross-a-Moor Roundabout Scheme and the strategic road network (SRN).
The A590 M6 junction 36 project also included the replacement of drainage facilities and bridge joints, and the widening of the A590 entry slip road to the junction 36 roundabout.