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An innovative and environmentally-friendly way for resurfacing roads will mean smoother and safer journeys for drivers in Darlington.
Highways England’s contractor A-one+ is using the technology for the first time on a motorway by resurfacing just over 2 miles of the westbound carriageway on the A66(M) from Blackwell roundabout to junction 57 of the A1(M) near Darlington.
The machinery, which has only been used previously on 2 sections of the A1 in Northumberland, allows the underlying layers of the road to be recycled, churning up the old surface material, combining it with new material within the body of the machine then laying it back down immediately on the road behind.
A video showing the machine in action has also been released and is available to view on our YouTube channel.
As well as being able to resurface larger areas, there is also typically a 75% reduction in the amount of quarried stone used on the job, a 66% reduction in the amount of waste taken to landfill and there are 70% fewer lorry trips to and from site.
Highways England Project Manager Steve Bishop said:
This new technology is brilliant news for the thousands of drivers that use motorways and major A roads in the North East, who will benefit from smoother and safer journeys.
There are lots of benefits to using this new way of working. It means we can resurface larger areas of road, there are fewer construction vehicle trips and the recycled material is designed to last for at least 10 years, meaning that we shouldn’t need to go back to carry out further major repairs any time soon meaning less disruption for drivers.
This is the first machine of its type in the UK but the process is already successfully used in the USA, France and China. We are always working with our partners to trial new technologies that will help us to minimise disruption to drivers while we carry out essential road maintenance.
Currently, to resurface a road, the old road surface is planed off and taken away on trucks as waste. The new material, which is often mixed off site, is brought in hot and is laid using a resurfacing machine. This is usually in truckloads of 20 tonnes with an average of 350 tonnes per shift being brought in altogether.
Work on the A66(M) will start on Monday 12 September and will be carried out overnight Monday to Friday between 8pm and 6am for four weeks with a lane 1 closure during the day.
The westbound carriageway on the A66(M) will also be closed for two weekends, from 8pm on Friday 16 September until 6am Monday 19 September and again the following weekend from 8pm on Friday 23 September until 6am on Monday 26 September.
Cleary signed diversions will be in place.
Members of the public should contact the Highways England customer contact centre on 0300 123 5000.
Journalists should contact the Highways England press office on 0844 693 1448 and use the menu to speak to the most appropriate press officer.