A highways surfacing project on the M9 has set a new benchmark for laying output in Scotland and demonstrated how to boost productivity, cut timescales and minimise disruption to road users.
The project on the M9 between Junctions 6 and 7 of the northbound carriageway saw Tarmac and Amey lay 2,460 tonnes of asphalt in just 29 hours – a significant time saving compared to similar scale road schemes usually delivered within a 48-hour working window.
Delivered as part of Amey’s G4 South East contract with Transport Scotland, the project aimed to understand how laying output could be optimised per shift to save time and costs.
As a result of early engagement and collaboration between the project partners, Transport Scotland elected to close the road so that Tarmac and Amey could have full access and maximise the work that could be delivered within the possession window.
A full closure of the road allowed Tarmac to lay material using two paving machines which worked in echelon to boost productivity and ensure joint-free construction and consistent compaction across the full width of the carriageway.
This approach and the use of a hard-grade EME base helped to minimise the future water ingress and deliver long-term durability. With asphalt from Tarmac’s nearby Hillwood and Cairney Hill quarries it was able to cut delivery timescales.
Commenting on the success of the project, Andrew Grimsley, General Manager, Tarmac Contracting Scotland said: “This project’s success is the result of a collaborative attitude to delivery, proactive management and a team that is focused on results. It provides an important industry benchmark for future schemes as we strive to work as efficiently as possible to cut project timescales and minimise disruption to the Scottish public.”
Tom Wallace, account director for Amey South East Trunk Roads Unit, added:"This is a perfect example of Amey working closely with our contractors - and utilising cutting-edge technology - to ensure we continue to deliver high quality results faster and with even greater cost-efficiency. It is an innovative approach to working that directly benefits our customers and the travelling public."