Cost effective asphalt footpath for nature reserve

Uphill Nature Reserve, Weston Super Mare



North Somerset County Council


Drayton Construction

Location type

Nature Reserve


February 2016

The challenge

This footpath and cycle route through a nature reserve near Weston-super-Mare, had deteriorated and required resurfacing. Access to the site was very limited, meaning that material would need to be transported up to 1 kilometre from the point of delivery to where it would be laid. However, as the nature reserve had SSSI status, the contractor, Drayton Construction needed to minimise damage from plant equipment. The work was scheduled for February and the exposed location of the site meant that low temperatures were expected.

Our solution

After discussing the challenges of the site with the contractor, ULTIFASTPATH was proposed as a single layer alternative to conventional two-layer, binder and surface course construction. ULTIFASTPATH uses a modified binder for improved compaction which enhances durability and can be used in a single layer up to 70mm. Using a single thicker layer allows faster resurfacing with fewer vehicle movements. As it is laid thicker, ULTIFASTPATH retains heat longer than conventional asphalt which improves workability and compaction in difficult laying conditions. This means fewer voids and minimises the risk of water ingress, which was important to ensure long term durability on this exposed site.

Results and benefits

Despite the challenges of the site, by using ULTIFASTPATH in a single 50mm layer, the contractor was able to achieve a strong, smooth finish while halving the time spent on site from six days to three. There was also a reduction in material volumes of around 150 tonnes, which meant fewer vehicle movements on site. The result was a significant reduction in the cost of labour, plant hire and material and a more sustainable project outcome. This included saving 1,533 kg of CO2 emissions from the reduction in asphalt material required. The contractor was very impressed with the performance of ULTIFASTPATH and has recommended it for future pathway and cycle schemes.

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Additional info

Reduction in programme time

Faster single layer construction reduced materials and  halved construction time from six days to three.

Minimising damage to this sensitive site

Reduction in materials helped to limit vehicle movements and minimise damage to this SSSI nature reserve.

More sustainable construction

Over 1500kg of carbon dioxide emissions saved from the reduction in asphalt materials.

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