New game changing technology on the way to fill county potholes
Gloucestershire County Council is to trial a new way of producing asphalt, allowing highway gangs to work more flexibly with almost no wastage of materials at all.
A pioneering new mobile asphalt production unit has arrived in the county and will soon be trialed on local roads as repair work continues.
Road maintenance crews have traditionally collected asphalt from depots before heading out to roads that need surfacing. This, however, takes up valuable time from the day's schedule and leads to wasted asphalt, because depots usually require a minimum order and it is difficult to judge the exact quantity needed for a job before working at the location.
A new mobile unit has been developed that can mix aggregates and bitumen - the key ingredients of asphalt - in situ. This means that highway crews don't have to head to a depot for a supply of asphalt each time it is needed.
This method of 'self-delivery' means much greater productivity because crews are able to work on a greater number of jobs in a single day. It also means that only the correct amount of asphalt is prepared, to an optimum hot temperature, guaranteeing minimal wastage of materials and the best chances of a successful new road surface.
The machines can produce between one and three tonnes of asphalt every hour and can be towed behind a standard seven and a half tonne vehicle.
Cllr Vernon Smith, cabinet member for highways said, "This is big news for Gloucestershire. These pioneering new machines are a real game changer for road repairs. Technology has really moved on and we'll be able to carry out permanent hot asphalt repairs on site without having to go back to the quarry. We'll be able to save time and work much more flexibly and efficiently, and there's hardly any wasted material at all, so they're more cost effective too."
"Using these machines also means we won't have to reply on asphalt depots being open to get our supply of material so we'll be able to do more work at night time which is good news because it means less disruption to traffic during the day."
In Hampshire a mobile asphalt production unit is already routinely being used for road repairs as part of a highways maintenance service operated by Amey, which also partners Gloucestershire County Council.