UK’s National Highways has announced that it will start trialing the use of graphene on the A1 in Northumberland to see if it can help prolong the road’s lifespan.
The UK Government’s website states that this work – a world’s first – will provide safer, smoother journeys along one of Britain’s most heavily-used routes. The new surfacing could also reduce traffic noise thanks to the wonder material being used in this endeavor.
According to National Highways’ engineers, if successful, using this high-tech product could see the operational life of key road features extended by a number of years.
This could in turn reduce the frequency of roadworks and make journeys for road users a lot smoother and more reliable.
The revolutionary resurfacing will take place along three miles of the northbound carriageway between Newton on the Moor and West Cawledge, south of Alnwick, from Sunday 19 September to Monday 1 November.
During the course of the trials, the northbound carriageway will be closed 24/7, with traffic running in a contraflow, one lane in each direction, on the southbound carriageway.
A number of crossovers will also be closed and clearly signed diversions will be in place to carry out the resurfacing work safely and efficiently.
“This is an exciting time for National Highways. We are constantly striving to improve the journeys of our customers and graphene has real potential to do that,” states National Highways Asset Needs Manager Graeme Watt.
“Laboratory trials have been a success and the on-site trials in Northumberland will be a world first use of graphene in road production, which enforces our commitment to innovation and helps to push the industry towards more carbon-friendly maintenance with longer-lasting solutions which we all benefit from.”
“Graphene’s benefits are industry-changing. It’s stronger than steel and adding it to other materials can turn them into super materials. From what we’ve seen so far, it could make some of our assets last significantly longer.”
National Highways is carrying out the trials with the Graphene Engineering Innovation Center (GEIC) at The University of Manchester and Pavement Testing Services (PTS).
Image and content: BEAR SCOTLAND/GOV.UK