A189 Northbound Foam Mix Resurfacing


Northumberland County Council




Aug - Sept 2021

The Project

The scheme involved the cold milling and resurfacing of 1.5km of the busy northbound carriageway of the A189 at Cramlington to recycle a significant amount of tar bound material. This project was used for the large-scale recycling of 1,200 Tonnes of tar bound road planings from across Northumberland using an off-site foamed bitumen process (Foambase) provided by our partner, OCL Regeneration Ltd. The work involved:

  • Lane 1 – cold milling and removal of 300mm depth of existing road surface, followed by reinstatement of 200mm depth foam mix, 60mm binder and 40mm Armaflex.
  • Lane 2 – cold milling and removal of 100mm depth of existing road surface, followed by 60mm binder and 40mm Armaflex.

The Foambase cold-lay surfacing material incorporated 94% recycled tar planings which was bound with foamed bitumen and other hydraulic binders, using 80% less energy and 50% less CO2 than traditional materials.

Working at night on a congested site, we safely managed the removal and reinstatement of 3,850 Tonnes of material.

Key Quantities:

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Average Material Laid per Night
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AC20 HDM Binder
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Average Planed Per night
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Foam mix
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Challenges and Successes

The project posed a number of challenges, including delivering all works at night whilst safely reopening the road each morning at 6am; planing out and re-laying significant quantities of material each night before the reopening deadline; laying new products at significant depth to the required specification while working to tight deadlines; coordinating mixing operations and Foambase deliveries from the mixing plant 10 miles away and managing a very busy and constrained site at night whilst coordinating planing operations, surfacing, material removal and multiple Foambase, binder and Armaflex material deliveries from different suppliers in the required sequence through a narrow site. The work was delivered safely to a very high quality and the road was reopened on time each day.

Client Benefits:

By reincorporating the tar bound road planings into the new road surface material, Northumberland County Council was able to safely dispose of over 1,200 Tonnes of previously accumulated hazardous waste without sending to landfill, which would have cost a significant amount of money. Additionally, the reuse of the tar bound road planings by the Foambase process used 80% less energy and saved 50% CO2 when compared to newly supplied material.

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