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Aggregate Industries bridge the gap at Runcorn


Newly launched ProLay System asphalt mix used on renovation of Runcorn’s Silver Jubilee Bridge

FOLLOWING the launch of their new ProLay System earlier this year, Aggregate Industries’ bespoke asphalt solution has played a vital role in the recent refurbishment of Runcorn’s Silver Jubilee Bridge.

A Grade II listed structure, the Silver Jubilee Bridge spans the river Mersey and connects Runcorn and Widnes. The iconic bridge has been closed since 2017 to undergo a major refurbishment programme.

The revamp of the bridge, led by Halton Borough Council, came with a challenging brief – it required an asphalt solution that could help reduce water ingression, improve durability, and be laid at a minimal 70mm thickness over a waterproofing membrane.

Not only that, as vibration on the bridge deck was not permitted, it was essential that the asphalt did not require a high degree of compaction. The material needed to be flexible enough to withstand movement, contain low in-situ voids to reduce water ingression through the asphalt on to the bridge deck, whilst providing good deformation resistance.

To meet the complex task, Aggregate Industries’ Contracting Division looked to its recently launched ProLay System, a new generation of asphalts offering bespoke solutions tailored to the application.    

Through a consultative approach with Halton Borough Council and multiple site inspections to identify the right-first-time pavement design solution, the contracting team recommended a customized asphalt mix, ProLay Ultra cl.942.

In August 2020, Aggregate Industries’ Contracting Division constructed a 40mm lower layer of very dense and highly rut resistant hot-rolled asphalt which was then overlaid with 30mm of ProLay Ultra cl.942 asphalt.

The pavements were laid using state-of-the-art smart surfacing technology to capture the pavement data required to support asset management – giving Halton Borough Council as-built digital data records straight from the paver.

As an example of Aggregate Industries pioneering ProLay System in action, this project highlights the benefits of early involvement in the design stage to achieve the best results – an approach the client praised.

Ian Jones, divisional highways manager for Halton Borough Council, said: ‘The design of any bridge deck surfacing can be challenging, but even more so when you only have 70mm of coverage on a Grade II listed bridge.

‘We wanted a solution that could help reduce water ingression, improve durability, be flexible and still give good deformation resistance, all at this minimum inlay thickness.

‘Aggregate Industries rose to the challenge and proposed their ProLay Ultra asphalt, which ticked all the boxes. With this being manufactured, supplied and laid by Aggregate Industries, it gave me more confidence that I was getting the right-first-time approach.’

Paddy Murphy, managing director of contracting at Aggregate Industries, said: ‘Given the complexity and high-profile nature of this bridge renovation, our new ProLay System of creating a bespoke ProLay Ultra asphalt mix manufactured, supplied and laid by our expert team was utilized on this project.

‘It’s a great example of how this customized approach was able to meet the difficult brief of creating an asphalt solution that didn’t require a high degree of compaction yet still had low voids.’

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