Badgered roads

01 May 2008

Contractor may gurney and essex county council have completed trials that could see the cost of concrete road repairs slashed in the UK. Reconstruction of a section of the B1441 Weeley bypass in Essex, used an American-built Badger MHB ‘rubbliser', which, according to the contractor, cut UK£ 100000 (€145000) off costs and saved about 10 days working time.

Clay under the 600 m single carriageway had moved due to the dry weather of the past two years, causing the concrete to crack and drop. Normally reconstruction would mean breaking up the old road and transporting it to a crushing plant, which in this case would have been a 48 km round trip. According to Richard Withers, managing director of Antigo Breakers, which supplied the self-propelled Badger MHB, this is the first time the machine has been used in this way in the UK.

“The whole idea of rubblising these roads is that the rubble can be considered a part of the new roads design, which reduces the amount of blacktop overlay you need, thereby saving on costs, time and being more environmentally friendly.”

The Badger MHB processed 5700 m2 of concrete (1700 tonnes) in two days travelling at up to 3 m/minute. According to May Gurney the job would normally take two weeks working conventionally. The Badger MHB broke the concrete into small pieces using two rows of 680 kg drop hammers, which are lifted hydraulically and arranged sequentially. The broken material was then compacted straight back into the ground as part of the sub-base for the new road.

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