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Highways England using innovative material to strengthen the M11
Image courtesy of Highways England

Highways England using innovative material to strengthen the M11

Highways England is using innovative new material to improve the safety for motorists, commuters and businesses that use the M11  motorway.

Each day, the motorway is used by 40,000 motorists and as such, the structure needs to be maintained and strengthened to make it safe and secure for these people, ensuring the economy continues to thrive.

Worth £800,000, the new material will strengthen embankments along the M11, filling underground voids close to the Girton interchange in Cambridgeshire where the M11 meets the A14.

During routine surveys, these voids were found and as such, Highways England has monitored the area ever since.

What these problems reveal is the detrimental and far-reaching effect of the severe weather conditions seen earlier this year.

The construction industry suffered badly, with projects delayed or even temporarily halted because of the extreme conditions; for the roads, highways and motorways, the conditions resulted in more potholes and, according to Highways England’s surveys, the appearance of underground voids.

These were caused by groundwater damage that occurred as a direct result of heavy rainfall that caused water erosion.

Highways England warn that, if left untreated, the drainage system could deteriorate even further, harming the embankment and the M11 itself.

With the innovative new material, the process of filling the underground voids is much quicker; the material expands underground to fill voids quickly, with much less disruption to traffic.

After this, special expanding grouting material will be injected into the ground, which hardens off underground.

Karl Brooks, Highways England project manager, said: “Safety is paramount in the work we do at Highways England, so we need to complete this work as swiftly as possible.

“We need to complete this work at Girton before the colder winter months set in, as such weather could cause further deterioration, so we’re keen to remedy the voids before that happens.”

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