Is this the Most Expensive Road in the UK?

Where do you think the most expensive road is in the UK? Somewhere in central London? An exclusive stretch of road in the capital, or somewhere difficult to build and tough to engineer?

News comes recently of the progress – or lack of progress – on what could be the priciest 400-metre stretch of road in the UK. The new section of road on the banks of Loch Lomond was part of a contract for £9.2m, and it has recently been finished a year behind schedule. The battle continues over the costs and who is responsible for them, and for the delay.

Reopening of an Important Road

The section of road at Loch Lomond had temporary traffic lights installed way back in the 1980s but these were finally removed when the road was reopened to two-way traffic for the first time in over 30 years. Experts describe the road project as a significant engineering project that is almost breath-taking in its scope.

Design and Build of the Loch Lomond Road

The construction of the road involved many complicated aspects and engineering projects. These included the building of a new viaduct structure, plus cutting slopes, and helping to widen the carriageway. The road was originally planned to be closed for 14 weeks, both ways, but this length of time was reduced in order to minimise disruption for industry and tourism. But although the project had its successes, it was also hit by numerous engineering challenges, bad weather, and almost catastrophic landslips on the site. The area is naturally vulnerable to weather events and engineering issues, and it was clear that there would be considerable problems to overcome at the site.

Who Is Responsible for Extra Costs?

Road building is a complicated undertaking, particularly due to the amount of different parties involved and the potential for the over-running of the project. The Loch Lomond project is no exception, and questions have been raised over who is responsible for the extra costs generated by the overrun and the need for additional expertise and adjustments. The matter of who is responsible is often not clarified until the very end of a project when all the variables can be added up and the balance sheet carefully checked.

Cost Savings with Recycled Asphalt

Depending on the project, there are certain ways in which costs can be managed and reduced in the road building process. For example, recycled or reclaimed asphalt is a good way of cutting costs while improving performance and durability. Reclaimed asphalt has been in use for many years and innovations in technology help to secure its future. However, it must be laid correctly using the correct equipment in order to be efficient and effective. As with most aspects of the road construction process, without the right equipment the project risks failure or an unmanageable increase in costs. Choosing the right paving and construction equipment is vital to maintain a project on time and on budget, whether the project is in Loch Lomond, London, or Leeds.





Image courtesy of hyena reality/

Posted on 29 Jun 2015 in Recycling

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