Taking a firm grip on safety with high-friction asphalt
Advances in asphalt technology mean that contractors and suppliers are bringing new ideas and innovations to the table that can significantly contribute to meeting demanding productivity targets.
A challenging brief on the A64 in Yorkshire required a durable, anti-skid asphalt on a busy slip road. The junction with the A1237 outside of York had been highlighted as in urgent need of upgrading following a rise in the number of reported incidents.
Working alongside principal contractor A-one+, Tarmac’s project team was tasked with identifying a solution that would replace the existing, worn high-friction surface with a more durable asphalt that would additionally add value, boost safety and minimise unplanned delays.
It proposed using UltiGrip, an innovative and new skid-resistant asphalt developed by Tarmac which delivers improved safety and a better customer experience while unlocking whole-life cost savings.
The solution differs from other high-friction surfaces in its unique composition. Unlike traditional products, its skid resistant properties are not added at the end of the surfacing process but intrinsic to the mix. A calcined bauxite aggregate and a durable clear binder are used that, when combined, offer a durable, textured finish and reduce the risk of skidding.
Furthermore, by lasting on average more than three times longer than similar surfaces, its superior performance reduces the maintenance burden over its service lifetime.
Another benefit is that it can be laid in a single pass, meaning that operatives spend less time overall on site, mitigating risk and reducing labour costs in both the short and long-term.
Andrew Sharp, programme development manager, A-one+ comments: “Finding a safe and robust product that would suit the project’s requirements was essential. However, it was crucial that once we had completed the job there would be no additional requirement to revisit the site for regular maintenance.
“We laid approximately 250 tonnes of UltiGrip after having calculated the substantial financial and time savings that it would deliver over its lifetime. When you factor in the comparative reduced amount of maintenance, the whole-life benefits are impressive. These include a £370,000 reduction in whole-life costs, with 28 days of closures and 2,800 hours of labour saved over its serviceable life.”
Since the project’s successful completion, the new UltiGrip asphalt surface has performed above and beyond expectations, providing better durability, strength and safety.
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