Long lasting asphalt footpath for nature reserve

Vale of Glamorgan



Vale of Glamorgan Council


Tarmac Contracting

Location type

Country park


March 2018

The challenge

Cosmeston Lakes Country Park is a public park owned by Vale of Glamorgan Council, situated between Penarth and Sully. As the resurfacing contractor for the Vale of Glamorgan, Tarmac were asked to advise on the pavement design and choice of materials for a planned upgrade of the main footway. The existing 2.5 km, three metre wide footway would be resurfaced with a new asphalt binder and surface course replacing the existing loose gravel. Access to the site was hindered by narrow, winding internal roads and overhanging trees. This meant that asphalt would need to be transferred to the paver via dumpers. As well as pedestrian traffic, the new footway would have to withstand occasional use by the Council’s maintenance vehicle.

Our solution

A standard close-graded asphalt had originally been specified for the job. However after visiting the site and holding discussions with the client, it was clear that a more durable material was needed. The chosen approach was to enhance the sub-base at specific points on the path and lay a single 60mm layer of ULTIFASTPATH using a 10mm aggregate. ULTIFASTPATH contains designed fine aggregates and a modified binder which makes it more workable during construction. This helps to improve compaction and finish, even in low seasonal temperatures. ULTIFASTPATH enables the surface and binder courses to be replaced in a single pass, helping to significantly reduce programme times. It has also proven to be more durable than conventional asphalt.

Results and benefits

Works commenced with around 500 tonnes of sub base being laid in preparation for the binder and surface course. Once this was completed, 1,150 tonnes of ULTIFASTPATH was laid over 7,500m2 of the footway. The scheme was completed on time and on budget and reopened to the public, despite delays due to heavy snow fall. The client was impressed with the finish and the speed of completion even in the poor weather conditions. The choice of materials also helped to reduce the overall pavement thickness and material volumes, enabling welcome savings in vehicle movements on this hard to access site. Following the success of the scheme, the client expressed interest in using the same approach to complete a similar footway in the east of the park.

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Additional info

Challenging site and weather conditions

Excellent compaction and finish despite low temperatures and the need to transfer materials.

Completed on time and on budget

Using a fast, single layer approach to footpath construction enabled completion on time and on budget.

Minimising damage to the site

Material savings helped limit vehicle movements and minimise damage to thispark and nature reserve.

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