16 April 2021

Highways England to revitalise ageing concrete roads

Highways England has announced two contracts worth £285mln to upgrade the concrete surface of roads across the country to make sure they are safer, quieter and easier to maintain for the future.

Motorway in England
© Peter Fleming/Getty

Concrete roads make up almost 400 miles (4%) of England’s motorway and major A-road network. Mostly found along the eastern side of the country, in the North East, Yorkshire, East Anglia and the South East, there are also some smaller stretches in other parts of England.

They were built largely in the 1960s and 1970s. when traffic volumes were half of what they are today.

Over the next five years, Highways England will work with engineering and construction companies Morgan Sindall Infrastructure, John Sisk & Son, VolkerFitzpatrick, Colas Ltd, Dyer & Butler and Tarmac on a long-term programme to extend the life of, or replace, the concrete surfaces.

The programme also includes plans to recycle and reuse materials wherever possible and a Centre of Excellence has been established to coordinate innovative ways of renewing these vital roads.

In the past year, Highways England has extended the life of short sections and are using the lessons learnt from these projects to inform this new programme. 

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