Infrared road repair trial at Tesco roundabout a success

Repair team at work
Repair team at work

The trial in Aylesbury of a road repair system which uses infrared technology to melt damaged road surfaces has been a success, says Bucks County Council.

According to County Hall the system saves time and cost and leaves a high quality finish.

Making use of portable infrared heaters to heat the damaged road surface, it says it offers several benefits compared to traditional road repairing methods:

> Reduced disruption – with no need for traditional machinery to remove the damaged road surface, noise pollution and congestion on the highway is kept to a minimum.

> Increased recycling – the removed damaged road surfaced is combined with new materials on site and re-used for the permanent repair

> Cost effectiveness – The trial showed a saving in the region of 25% compared to re-surfacing the area using traditional processes, making better use of taxpayers’ money.

The trial, which was carried out in June of this year, involved the repair of two failing carriageway joints on the Tesco roundabout on the A41 / Tring Road, Aylesbury.

County Hall is still monitoring the repair but says it is happy it appears to be working perfectly.

It is hoped that no further major surfacing works to the roundabout will be required at this site for the next two to three years.

With the success of this initial trial, the council is now taking it to other sites across the county, including the roundabout at the bottom of Gore Hill on the Amersham bypass which has also got failing joints.

Janet Blake, cabinet member for planning and transportation said: “It’s always good to see new technology being put to good use on our highways, especially one that produces such good results at the same time as reducing inconvenience to road users.”

WHAT IT IS

The process works by heating the affected portion of the road with the infrared heaters to about 160-170° C, along with some of the surrounding road surface. This does not burn or damage the existing asphalt.

The loosened surface is then manually removed with shovels and forks and mixed with new materials for rejuvenation.

The old and new mixtures are blended together and compacted to form the repair.

The result is a seamless and smooth permanent patch. No cutting or trimming of the patch repair area required, saving on time and labour.

There is no requirement for multiple vehicles and noise levels and exhaust emissions are kept to a minimum, as well a reduced need for closing off larger areas of the highway.