VolkerHighways trials low carbon asphalt

Laying Milepave in West Berkshire

Milepave, a proprietary product of Miles Macadam, is an asphalt grouted warm mix surface course that combines micro asphalt and slurry sealing with traditional surfacing techniques.

It consists of a hot, paver-laid, open graded design mix surface course, generally laid between 30mm and 50mm, which is sealed and reinforced with an asphaltic grout manufactured by Miles Macadam.

VolkerHighways tried the material across four sites in West Berkshire, where it has a seven-year highways maintenance contract with the council.

As the solution is more open-textured, it allows grout to penetrate through the material. This means less raw material is required, and leads to a saving of approximately 40 tonnes of material. Additionally, the process only requires bitumen content of 5%, saving 5.2 tonnes across the schemes (as per calculations by Miles Macadam and verified by Carbon Footprint Ltd).

The overall carbon footprint of the surfacing programme was reduced by 38%, compared to conventional surfacing materials, Miles Macadam calculates.

To achieve notional carbon neutrality for the job, VolkerHighways has paid for 152 trees to be planted in Brazil.

Milepave has been around since 2006 but this was only the third time that Miles Macadam has used it as part of a carbon neutral surfacing scheme.

VolkerHighways operations director Kunle Kolaru said: “It’s great to see the industry moving to reduce carbon emissions and finding innovative ways to improve the environment. We are delighted to have had the opportunity to trial Milepave at sites across West Berkshire.”

Miles Macadam director Kit Ebben said: “Our carbon neutral schemes have proven to be of great interest to several local authorities around the UK.”

West Berkshire councillor Richard Somner, executive member for transport, said: “It’s fantastic to see that our contractor has been able to deliver this road improvement for us whilst remaining carbon neutral. It supports our climate emergency declaration and our goal for the district to become carbon neutral by 2030. It’s an excellent collaboration between the council and our partners to deliver improvements to our infrastructure in a more sustainable way.”

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