Construction News

Tue January 18 2022

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'Botox' fixes concrete motorway

5 days A new way of repairing concrete roads is being trialled on a section of the M180 in North Lincolnshire.

Metrail injects resin into the carriageway
Metrail injects resin into the carriageway

Metrail Construction, a specialist in bridge deck waterproofing and concrete repairs, is injecting resin into the carriageway to prevent it crumbling.

The hard shoulder, lane one and lane two of the eastbound carriageway of the M180 between junctions 1 (Tudworth) and 3 (Midmoor), near Scunthorpe, has experienced issues with water getting through carriageway joints and under the concrete.  As vehicles drive along the road, the concrete pushes the water back up through the joints, causing the surface to deteriorate.  

Resin is now being injected to stabilise the concrete. While not a new solution, it is the first time it has been used on England’s motorways.

Under the £5.2m scheme, the top layer of the road has been planed off to expose around 30,000 square metres of concrete. Some 20,000 holes are then drilled into the concrete, which are filled with short, narrow tubes called packers. Resin is then injected into the packers through the concrete, which forces out any water held underneath. The resin then hardens and stabilises the concrete base before the carriageway is resurfaced.

 National Highways project manager Esref Ulas said:  “The M180 was built around 40 years ago and has served our customers well but recently we’ve had to carry out a number of unplanned roadworks on this section due to water damage, which we know has been frustrating for people.  This new approach to stabilising the concrete should make those unplanned roadworks a thing of the past. The resin is designed for longevity and should extend the life of the road’s surface by another 10 years or more.”

The resin injection work, which started last autumn, is being carried out by Metrail Construction. It is a method used by Metrail’s to stabilise rail tunnels, including on the London Underground, but this is the first time it has been used on England’s strategic road network.

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Metrail managing director Martyn Sherwood said: “We are particularly pleased to be working closely with National Highways to introduce this innovative technique to the maintenance of the UK’s strategic road network. 

“The unique formula of the resin used and its rapid hardening capability, which allows carriageways to be opened much more quickly, is cost effective and a gamechanger for concrete road maintenance in the UK.”

Once the concrete stabilisation is complete a second phase of the project to repair and seal the joints between the concrete slabs will be carried out.

The whole programme of work is scheduled to end in February. 

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