The A46 Newark to Widmerpool Improvements Scheme is a 28km dual carriageway construction scheme which is being delivered by Balfour Beatty on behalf of the Highways Agency. The scheme includes additional side roads, 22 new bridges and major interchanges at the A52, A6097 and Nottingham Road. The new road also provides bypasses for the villages of East Stoke and Farndon.
Prior to the road officially opening to public traffic, it was noticed that a short section of the southbound carriageway needed to be investigated. This investigations revealed that a chemical reaction had occurred between the naturally occurring gypsum, moisture and cement used in the road building. This had caused the ground to expand resulting in an uneven road surface.
In order to minimise the impact of this work on the road user, full depth replacement of this section of carriageway was programmed over a weekend closure. The planing operations were scheduled between 21.00 and 01.00 on Friday 27th July. This avoided any impact on the regular weekday commuter traffic.
Power Plane Ltd was tasked with removing a 9.7m wide and 70m long section of carriageway within very tight time constraints. Power Plane Ltd decided that two top of the range Wirtgen W250 road planers were used to achieve the required outputs. A total of five cuts wide (each at 345mm deep) were needed to remove all the bituminous layers. Each cut took approximately 25mins at a rate of 6 tonnes per minute (360 tonnes per hour).
The planer was then used to remove the 250mm HBM foundation layer. An extra 3.95m step was needed at either end of the 70m excavation to allow the planer to dig to its full capacity. The work was completed in under 4 hours with a total 1450 tonnes being planed. The excavation was handed over to Balfour Beatty on time allowing the resurfacing activities to be undertaken.
Aidan Brannan (Balfour Beatty’s Project Director) said:
“We were highly satisfied with the quality and efficiency of the work carried out by Power Plane Ltd in the given time. This greatly assisted in ensuring the road was re-opened ahead of schedule on the Monday morning.”