Starting in early February, LMS Highways have been working on behalf of Balvac to deliver a Concrete Maintenance Project located on the M53.
LMS were instructed to remove old, damaged sections of concrete carriageway and prepare the subbase in preparation for the road to receive asphalt reinstatement. Along with this, partial depth concrete repairs and further life extension repairs such as thin bond and joint repairs have been provided.
In early February the team began prepping the site by marking the areas due to be repaired, joints were pre-sawn ahead of the breakout and many smaller repairs have been carried out to the joints. Often the forgotten part in any concrete carriageway maintenance regime is the joint sealing, keeping the water above the slabs and directing it to proper drainage is the number one priority to prevent undermining or softening of the subbase – otherwise cracked, dropped and/or rocking slabs can be the result. This is where carrying out a range of treatments from repair to replacement is necessary to extend the life of a concrete carriageway.
By mid Feb the LMS team, lead by Paul Burton who has over 32 years in the industry began to remove the concrete bays, a process which LMS Highways has refined over the years enabling them to work within the most challenging conditions and keep to extremely tight work schedules. This is achieved by having not only an experienced and highly trained workforce but specialist equipment such as our vacuum lifting plate which allows large sections of concrete to be removed in one continuous piece. Working alongside this is our custom-made lifting bucket which focuses on removing smaller pieces and the sections which are subject to heavy surfacing cracking where a vacuum seal isn’t possible.
Balvacs Project Manager Andrew Higson was on site during the first night of breakout and had the following comments. –
“I’m pleased to hear that we got the first 13 bays removed and reinstated as planned last night… and with an hour to spare. There was no luck involved in this. The coordination planning in the lead up, and the excellent communication (and safety controls) that I witnessed last night, were key to delivering these works successfully. This gives us real confidence that the programme for the next two weekends is achievable. Please pass on my thanks to your teams. Well done to all involved!” – Andrew Higson, Project Manager for Balvac
The second night of concrete removal for LMS was followed by similar success with comments of praise coming directly from Highways England. –
“Another big night with 13 bays removed and reinstated with base & binder, again this shows excellent communication and collaboration between contractors on site to achieve. Please pass on our thanks to everyone on site, who worked hard to achieve this.” – Lesley Bates, Highways England
“What a great achievement by everyone involved. Thank you for everyone’s hard work in the planning and undertaking of these works so far, this is a real success story. – Phil Deller, Project Manager for Highways England
With the project so far running, successfully, on-time and on-budget Paul Winter, Managing Director for LMS Highways shared his own comments on how he feels this project is going and how the feedback from both Balvac and Highways England has impacted the team.
“It’s always fantastic to hear our crews are delivering work ahead of schedule, as Andrew mentioned there’s so much prior planning and communication that goes into delivering this type of work so to have this recognised is very rewarding. We’re looking forward completing this project and continuing our working relationship with both Balvac and HE.” – Paul Winter, Managing Director for LMS Highways.