The Government-owned company responsible for the operation, maintenance, and improvement of England’s motorways and major A roads has finished a £65 million concrete reconstruction project on the A11 road at Wymondham.
The scheme has entailed almost 10 miles of dual carriageway being upgraded to asphalt. As reported by Highways magazine, the work has been concentrated on the stretch of the A11 between Spooner Row and Tuttles’ Interchange, with the old concrete road surface – and some of its foundations – being removed.
This was followed by reconstruction work involving a new asphalt top and recycled material. Indeed, sustainability has been a key priority underpinning the scheme. National Highways stated that its decision to take 60,000 cubic metres of concrete from the carriageway and recycle it into the revamped road, was one of several innovations the company had used to minimise CO2 emissions during the rebuilding.
The project’s average speed cameras, meanwhile, were powered using renewable energy. Another part of the work was the exploratory use of kinetic floor tiles in the site compound, with these tiles generating electricity when walked over.
“Cutting-edge” tech and “a smoother travel experience for all road users”
Roads minister Richard Holden said that the £65 million improvement works would “grow the economy in the region”.
Also expressing confidence about the favourable effects of the reconstruction was National Highways’ head of scheme delivery (East), Simon Amor. He stated that the rebuilt road “not only showcases the power of collaboration and cutting-edge concrete technology, but also promises enhanced safety, reduced maintenance needs, and a smoother travel experience for all road users.”
National Highways said that the last 16 months had seen it undertake a range of processes as part of the improvement project. These included the removal and recycling of enough concrete “to fill 24 Olympic-sized swimming pools”, as well as the laying of 147,000 tonnes of new asphalt, “the equivalent weight of 786 Boeing 747 planes”.
Some 27,000 metres of new drainage were also installed, along with 13,000 metres of new safety barrier, and 60 new traffic signs. Workers also painted 41,000 metres of road marking, and laid 3,600 road studs, in what was unquestionably a mammoth project.
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The improvement works have formed part of National Highways’ £400 million campaign to “revitalise” concrete roads, which constitute more than 400 lane miles (4.6%) of the organisation’s network, and are largely found along the country’s eastern side.
It is anticipated that approximately half of the old-style concrete roads in the East will be subject to repair or replacement, an effort that will be of interest to many leading highway engineers and transport consultants.
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