Aggregate Industries says the asphalt-laying works were a great example of collaboration and engaging with external stakeholders across the supply chain to meet tight deadlines.
The M23 contract included the widening of the carriageway to achieve the all-lane running requirement, full-depth reconstruction of the hard shoulder, central reserve works and collaborative completion of junctions 9, 10 and lane four surfacing to enable the road to open for traffic.
With Aggregate Industries' Contracting Division acting as the lead surfacing partner, the materials for the project were supplied by its Asphalt and Aggregates Divisions and delivered by its Logistics Team.
The company also took responsibility for recycling 100% of the old waste material from the pre-existing road utilising a local recycling facility that crushed and screened it for use in the new asphalt. A proportion of the material will also be used, where possible, in Aggregate Industries' larger asphalt plants. As a result of the close proximity of the recycling facility, less haulage was required reducing the project's carbon emissions.
Faced with an immense tonnage of asphalt to lay in an extremely tight deadline, Tarmac was enlisted to act as a second surfacing partner, drawing upon a long-standing relationship with Aggregate Industries through the Highways England Category Management Pavement Framework. The collaboration between all parties; similarities in systems of working; and the ability to share resources, drove efficiencies that resulted in achieving 52,000 tonnes laid in one month, completing the pavement works by the end of March, six months ahead of the initial forecasted completion date.
In addition to the logistical, technical and time requirements for the project, the team also had to quickly adapt to a new working environment due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Undeterred, the team planned out stringent working arrangements with all parties involved to make sure that the project was finished in accordance with social distancing guidelines.
Paddy Murphy, managing director of Contracting at Aggregate Industries, said: "Not only is this project a great example of collaboration, flexibility and ingenuity within Aggregate Industries, but it is also further testament that even in uncertain times, businesses like ours, and all the parties we worked in close partnership with, are essential to keeping the country moving."
The success of the project has garnered significant praise from Highways England and principal contractor Kier, the CEO of which said: "I wanted to take this opportunity to thank the team for your role in securing the extraordinary achievement of the March Open For Traffic target on our M23 Smart Motorway Project. When the challenge to accelerate this project was set back in October, the collaboration, enthusiasm and commitment shown across the entire project team, including our supply chain partners, has been magnificent."