Warm mix asphalt road resurfacing on the busy M6 motoway

M6 Junction 13-12 South Bound



Kier, Area 9


Tarmac Contracting

Location type



May 2016

The challenge

This busy section of the M6 between Cannock and Stafford required resurfacing. This section of motorway forms a strategically important route between Birmingham and Manchester and carries high volumes of cars and heavy goods vehicles. Any delays to this project would have had a significant economic impact, so keeping to the scheduled work programme and avoiding any additional delays was essential. Maintaining the highest standards of site safety and reducing the environmental impact of highway maintenance activities were also key considerations for the client.

Our solution

After discussion with the client, the team at Tarmac Contracting recommended a high performance 14mm ULTIPAVE using their ULTILOW warm mix technology. ULTILOW is a range of low temperature asphalts manufactured, supplied and laid at lower temperatures. They offer equivalent performance to conventional hot mix asphalts but with the added benefits of enhanced workability, improved sustainability and earlier reopening times to traffic. These benefits and the proven performance of Tarmac Ultilow asphalts elsewhere on the strategic road network, convinced Highways England to grant a departure from standard material specifications.

Results and benefits

In total, 9,512 tonnes of warm mix asphalt was supplied from Tarmac’s Bayston Hill and Caldon Low plants. Work was completed by Tarmac Contracting over 14 night shifts between 25 April and 13 May 2016. The lower temperature of the asphalt helped reduce fumes and improve site visibility. It also meant that large volumes could be laid during the night shift and still be cool enough to open to traffic on schedule. Carbon footprint calculations also showed a significant saving in CO₂ emissions compared to the equivalent standard hotmix asphalt.

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Additional info

Improved productivity

Less cooling time between courses increases the paving volumes per shift.

Enhanced visibility and safety

The lower temperature of the asphalt helped reduce fumes and improve visibility. 

Proven on the busiest routes

ULTILOW warm mix asphalts offer equivalent performance to conventional hot mix asphalts and are proven on some of the UK's busiest roads.

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