Upgrading our concrete roads across the east of England

Our new programme will make sure concrete roads remain safe, dependable and durable.

Region's concrete roads set for major improvements programme

Published

29 Oct 2020

Most of our road network is surfaced with asphalt, also known as blacktop or tarmac, but some roads are built of concrete. These make up around 400 miles (4%) of England’s motorway and long-distance A-road network.

Most of these concrete roads are in the east of England and include sections of the A14, A12, A120, A11 and M11.

We have launched a new five-year programme that will see around half of the old-style concrete roads in the East repaired or replaced. The surface of the concrete roads that were designed between the 1950s and 1970s has an average life span of 50 years.

These road surfaces are now reaching the stage where they will need to be repaired or replaced for safety reasons, and to make them less noisy and better to drive on.

They need vital upgrades to ensure they remain safe, dependable and durable. Better surfaces will also boost ride quality and reduce noise for many years to come. 

Find out more about our national improvement programme, how we are working to improve the environment and our innovative ways of working.

Which roads will be improved

Over the next two years, we’ll be making changes to the following East region roads. Further announcements will be made about the wider five-year programme in due course.

A11

  • A11 north and southbound Spooner Row – Tuttles
  • A11 north and southbound Tuttles – Thickthorn

A12

A14

M11

What we’ll be doing

Depending on their condition, some roads will be repaired to extend their life and others will be fully replaced. Decisions about what type of work will be done are only taken once an extensive review of the existing road surface has been carried out and the benefits the works bring to customers and the wider community thoroughly examined.

Where we decide to reconstruct a section of concrete road, we'll replace concrete road surfaces that are in poor condition with a new smoother surface. This means completely removing the old material and reconstructing the road to a much greater depth - almost the same as when building a new road from scratch. This new surface will last for up to 40 years.

Where we chose to extend the life of a road, we'll carry out specialist repairs to maximise the life of the existing concrete road surfaces. This will enable us to keep the road operating safely for another 10 years.

All works will result in roads that are quieter, smoother, easier to maintain and therefore safer for our customers for years to come.

We plan to reuse the materials removed from our concrete roads in other road projects wherever possible, as well as working with our supply chain to develop new techniques to reduce our carbon footprint.

Our works will also be carried out to high environmental standards, enhancing the environment wherever possible.

Latest information

We'll plan any roadworks to coincide with other road improvement projects or planned maintenance such a fixing lighting or drains to minimise disruption to road users and local residents.

Follow the links for further information about our work on the A12 and M11.

For further information on the concrete roads programme, please contact the Concrete Roads East by email:

concreteroadseast@highwaysengland.co.uk

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