The Challenge 

The A421 provides an important route, that links Cambridge, Bedford, Milton Keynes and Oxford. On this route, south of Bedford lies Marsh Leys Roundabout. This busy roundabout required resurfacing as the existing surface was showing signs of failure. As well as being part of the A421, this roundabout has Distribution Centres for Asda, Sainsburys and Argos which meant disruption had to be kept to a minimum. The working window was restricted to just 4 hours to allow HGV’s to maintain access to the Distribution Centres and enable wider traffic to resume.

The Solution

Due to the restricted working window on this heavily-trafficked roundabout, there was concern that the Hot Rolled Asphalt (HRA) material originally specified for this scheme would be unsuitable due to the laying and cooling times required to support heavy vehicle traffic. As well as impacting traffic on site, using HRA may have caused deformation and chip loss.

Huyton Asphalt proposed the use of Ultipave 10mm in lieu of HRA in order to significantly reduce the cooling time and disruption to enable access to the busy Distribution Centres. This environmental product provides significant carbon saving enhancing the sustainability of the project.
Through close collaboration with all stakeholders, deliveries for the distribution centres were scheduled to arrive in batches. Works were carefully choreographed with wagons held / stacked in the slip road until the planing and subsequent surfacing operation had passed the exit, when access to the distribution centres would resume.

All parts of the scheme were laid in echelon with up to 3 pavers working in tandem to hot match the joints. Not only does this provide a more aesthetically appealing finish, this technique also eliminates the weakest part of any pavement to enhance the durability of the materials.
Due to the timescales, we also ensured that we maintained a ‘back-up’ store of plant equipment with additional pavers, rollers, planers and fitters on site throughout.

“You have been professional and
helpful throughout a complicated
project and the final product is a
testament to the quality of Huyton

Robert Wharton, Project Manager, ECL Civil Engineering

1,140tof resurfaced carriageway in the latest innovative low carbon warm mix product
1.5tCO2Carbon saving
3Nights laying time
-50%Programme time reducedby half
9.8%Cost savings