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2020 / 2021 Edition

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FM Conway and TfL launch ‘groundbreaking’ recycled asphalt trial

FM Conway asphalt plant

New specification designed to provide a sustainable and economical option for maintaining the country’s strategic highways

INFRASTRUCTURE services company FM Conway have launched a new trial with Transport for London (TfL) to test the use of a high recycled asphalt mix for the surface course of a strategic road.

FM Conway continue to work closely with TfL on a number of infrastructure contracts across the English capital and have a proven capability to recycle asphalt pavements at their Erith and Heathrow specialist asphalt plants.

To address the challenges created by the geological scarcity of high-PSV aggregates, TfL recently appointed FM Conway to lay an asphalt surface course containing 50% recycled aggregate constituents on the A1 Mill Hill.

The trial is being carried out on three lanes of the highway where the recycled content mix will be monitored against primary aggregate asphalts to ensure its durability and retention of a skid-resistant surface. The mix is said to be fully compliant with Clause 942 of the Specification for Highway Works and incorporates FM Conway’s selected binder and aggregates, as well as Arizona Chemical’s Sylvaroad binder performance additive.

According to FM Conway, the trial has the potential to transform the way the UK’s strategic road network is maintained. Due to concerns that high-recycled content mixes cannot provide adequate skid resistance and durability, the recycled content of surface course mixes is traditionally limited to around 10%. TfL and FM Conway believe their latest new trial will dispel such doubts and provide a sustainable and economical option for maintaining the nation’s strategic routes.

Dana Skelley, TfL’s director of asset management, said: ‘We’re really pleased to be teaming up with FM Conway and Arizona Chemical on this trial for an environmentally friendlier way of resurfacing London’s roads. The unique trial will help us test how durable recycled asphalt is with a view to efficiently implementing this process across the highway network in the near future.’

Tim Metcalf, aggregate and asphalt director at FM Conway, said: ‘This is an exciting development for the strategic road network. We’re confident that the trial will answer any doubts about the use of high-recycled content asphalt for both surface courses and the base and binder courses of strategic roads.’ 

He added: ‘High-recycled content asphalt not only meets specified safety requirements, but can support the highways industry in its drive to be more resource efficient. FM Conway has invested heavily in its recycling infrastructure facilities during recent years and as a company we now recycle 98% of highways arisings from the road maintenance projects we work on.’

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