Lafarge Cement has called for wider adoption of soil stabilisation in order to make road construction more cost-effective and sustainable.
Lafarge has said that soil stabilisation is essential if the industry is to achieve the targets set out last autumn by the chancellor when announcing investment of £25bn over the next five years for the second phase of the Road Investment Strategy.
One of the core objectives of the strategy is to create a ‘greener network’ and bring down maintenance costs, calling on Highways England and its supply chain partners to step up to the challenge through innovation and creativity.
According to Lafarge, one of the ways the industry can achieve this is by taking a “ground-up” approach that uses soil stabilisation by using hydraulic road binders – a process widely-used in the US and across Europe to improve weak in-situ materials for foundations in road engineering.
Lafarge Cement commercial director Steve Curley said: “This ground up approach starts with ground engineering, where for years the issue of weak in-situ materials has been solved by replacing them with imported natural aggregates – a costly method. More recently, soil stabilisation that blends in-situ materials with a rapidly hardening hydraulic road binder has been proven to remove the need for traditional sub base or base course aggregate, making it more environmentally friendly as it cuts down on material waste and the carbon emissions associated with hauling aggregates. This method is also much more cost-effective due to reduced landfill costs and reduced project timescales and costs.
“With a greater onus on contractors to deliver the UK’s most ambitious road projects to date in the most sustainable and economical way possible, world-leading agencies such as Highways England, Heathrow and Associated British Ports are already seeing the benefits of using hydraulically bound mixtures. Hence, the direction of travel is clear; best practice now dictates the use of specialist binders in soil stabilisation as the ‘go-to’ method for greener, leaner and more efficient road construction.”