A cracking (and seating) new company in D-Drill group
A company, which provides the most environmentally-friendly and cost-effective way of stabilising concrete roads before resurfacing, has been bought out.
Highway Systems, which is based in Lancashire, has been bought by diamond drilling and sawing business D-Drill, which has offices throughout the UK and a HQ near Coventry.
Highway Systems was founded in 1993 and utilises a ‘cracking and seating’ method prior to resurfacing concrete-slab roads, the concrete which can be up to 70-years-old.
Instead of digging out the road and removing the concrete, the company’s specialist machines turn the existing concrete into a flexible road base which is then overlaid.
The process is quicker and more economical than other processes and cuts down massively on labour and particularly waste costs.
Julie White, the managing director of D-Drill, saw huge potential in the business.
She said: “Local authorities and councils are looking to make efficiency savings in all areas and so are the contractors Highway Systems can serve.
“This process is so much more economical in terms of cost, time and the environment that I thought it was a strong proposition and decided we should purchase the business.
“In terms of the costs, to totally reconstruct a concrete road to a flexible carriageway in the traditional way, you might be looking at up to £200 per square metre. Using this system, it can be £5 per square metre. That’s better than a 90 per cent saving.”
The system can only be utilised on concrete roads and that means areas such as older housing estates and original concrete roads are most likely to benefit.
Des Burns, who will run the business on behalf of D-Drill having been in the industry for 25 years, said: “As soon as the cracking and seating process is finished the road can be driven on immediately and safely for up to six weeks before overlaying.
“Traditionally, excavating and reconstructing, for example, 10,000 square metres worth of road would have taken weeks if not months before it could be used again. Using our system, we can have that finished and ready for resurfacing in around five-and-a-half days and the road can stay open during the cracking and seating process therefore no costly or inconvenient closures.
“The process was discovered completely by accident on an airfield in Suffolk in the 1960s. The person cracked the concrete and left the job for a couple of days and when he went back, discovered that it had been turned into a flexible base after some of the planes had driven on it!
“He realised that he didn’t need to dispose of the waste concrete but could re-use it as the base.
“That’s the system we use to this day and our machines ensure it’s a very smooth process and an even smoother surface afterwards.”
He added: “We can also find hidden voids beneath the surface by using this method and put them right in a controlled condition which is imperative for safety reasons.”
For more information log onto www.highwaysystems.co.uk