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Fri July 30 2021

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Highways England updates concrete roads manual

5 Jul Highways England’s Concrete Roads Centre of Excellence has published the first concrete roads handbook in more than 30 years.

The new Concrete Pavement Maintenance Manual brings together the latest updates, advice and guidance from materials engineers on how to maintain, survey and repair roads.

The publication supports the recent award of contracts worth £285m to renew the concrete surfaces of motorways and trunk roads. The guide is designed to help contractors identify and repair faults in concrete roads, including underlying structural problems.

The guidebook was developed by the Concrete Roads Centre of Excellence, which has been set up as the development and knowledge centre for the programme.

Technical lead Mike Ambrose said: “Like the concrete roads we are now upgrading or rebuilding, the old guidance has served the industry and country well since it was last published. This up to date handbook brings together and updates advice and guidance from across the industry into a single document and sets out commonly used techniques to inspect and repair concrete roads and other surfaces.

“Our new concrete road handbook will enable us to work with our supply chain as we repair and rebuild the concrete roads in our network as we build back better in the years to come.”

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Concrete roads make up 4% of England’s motorway and major A-road network. They are mainly along the eastern side of the country, in the North East, Yorkshire, East Anglia and the South East, there are also some smaller stretches in other parts of England. They were built largely in the 1960s and 1970s.

In March Highways England awarded framework contracts for concrete road repairs.

A five-year reconstruction framework, worth £218m, will see Morgan Sindall Infrastructure and John Sisk & Son demolish existing concrete road surfaces that are in poor condition and replace them with a new smoother surface.

At the same time VolkerFitzpatrick, Colas, Dyer & Butler and Tarmac were given a lifecycle extension works framework, worth £67m, for specialist repairs to maximise the life of the existing concrete road surfaces.

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