Update to traffic management for bank holiday weekend.
27 August 2021
Plans to open four lanes on the Tamar Bridge to traffic later this afternoon have been temporarily halted following a problem with the quality of some of the specialist surfacing material provided by a local batching plant.
The specialist asphalt used to resurface the steel deck is made from a mix of aggregates and other material and has been specifically created to bond with the layer of waterproofing which sits beneath it. The ‘recipe’ developed for use on the Tamar Bridge by VolkerLaser’s specialist surfacing contractor, Aeschlimann, has been subject to extensive testing in laboratory conditions to ensure that it is fit for purpose and will last for the required 20 to 25 years.
While there have been no problems with the material used to resurface the two cantilevers during the first phase of the project, and the majority of the south side of the main deck during the past few days, unfortunately the final load delivered by the batching plant yesterday afternoon did not meet the required standards.
Although the contractor stopped work immediately they saw that that there was a problem with the mix of the final consignment, a small amount of the material had already been laid on the deck. This section was removed last night using a planing machine so work can re-start as soon as a replacement batch which meets the required standards has been supplied by the material supplier.
A team from Aeschlimann spent this morning at the batching plant working with their staff to ensure that the replacement batch of surfacing material is the correct mixture. Once the material has been approved by Aeschlimann and VolkerLaser, it will be applied to the remaining section of the deck later this afternoon.
This process is likely to take the rest of the day to complete, with the newly laid surface then being left to ‘cure‘ overnight. Teams from VolkerLaser and Aeschlimann will be on site early tomorrow morning to carry out final checks on the surface before the traffic management arrangements are put in place to enable the four lanes to be opened tomorrow afternoon.
We are all very disappointed at the delay to the planned opening of the four traffic lanes. Everyone involved with the resurfacing project has worked extremely hard to complete the resurfacing on the south deck to have the additional lane open for the bank holiday weekend. We would like to apologise to anyone who has been inconvenienced and to thank people for their patience while this situation is resolved.
An extensive investigation is taking place to identify how the error was made and to ensure that a similar issue does not occur in the future.