Windsor and Maidenhead roads to be repaired more sustainably following trial

Shay Bottomley
Windsor and Maidenhead roads to be repaired in a more sustainably following trial

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A trial has been conducted by the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead to repair roads and pavements in a more environmentally friendly manner.

The process uses infrared technology and was first trialled on a damaged footpath on the A30 London Road, Sunningdale (from Evergreen to Devenish Road) by ‘recycling’ the existing material used in the pavement.

A machine, called an infrared heater, is used to heat up the existing asphalt surface in need of repair without burning the surface.

It can then be easily reworked using hand tools and reused before a rejuvenator is added to the heated asphalt along with additional fresh material as required. The area is then reprofiled so that it is level and the area compacted.

The council plans to include the new ‘extremely efficient’ system in its range of road treatment options to help with maintenance, alongside reducing its carbon footprint.  

Other benefits of the infrared system include the increased durability of repairs by eliminating weaknesses created by additional joints in the surface.

Fresh material is added to the heated surfaces at 170 degrees Celsius ensuring all materials are at exactly the right temperature.

This means they ‘fuse’ together, eliminating the risks associated with ‘cold’ joints and the possible failure of the adjacent pavement.

The improvement work was carried out by the council’s highways contractor, VolkerHighways, earlier this month.

Councillor Gerry Clark, cabinet member for transport and infrastructure at RBWM, said: “The Royal Borough is committed to exploring alternative, more sustainable and efficient ways to keep our highways in good working order and the benefits of this technology are far-reaching.

“This process is more energy-efficient, is less labour intensive resulting in greater productivity, and eliminates the need for excavation making it safer and easier for access requirements.

“It is also more environmentally friendly with zero material waste and delivers carbon savings compared to traditional construction."

He added there would also be 'benefits for residents with less noise and vibration, no dust and fewer people working on site.  

Daron Mizen, project manager for VolkerHighways, added: “As part of the ongoing focus on sustainability, the council and VolkerHighways have teamed up to explore how new, environmentally friendly initiatives can be employed around the borough.

“This has already included trialling a new electric road sweeper in Windsor, the first of its kind to be commercially available in the country, to accompany the three fully electric vans already in use for highway inspections.

“We are also recycling material gathered during gully cleansing, so that it can be repurposed, and completed patching repairs on manhole covers on Castle Hill roundabout in Maidenhead as a trial of an innovative mastic asphalt repair system.”

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