UK’s National Highways has recently trialled a new compaction technology on A303 upgrade scheme undertaken by Galliford Try Infrastructure. 

The latest trial is aimed at enhancing construction speed and safety on road sites.  

National Highways Innovation head Claire Hamar said: “We are constantly exploring new innovative ways to design, build and maintain our roads and are committed to making connected and autonomous plant the norm in construction. 

“We believe that embracing innovation is the path to more efficient and safer projects.” 

Compaction is claimed to be one of the first activities to be undertaken on a road construction project, ensuring road stays level and safe for drivers for long term.  

The technology incorporates 3D mapping and advanced sensors to achieve optimal compaction on the first attempt. 

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It also helps in addressing potential settlement issues caused by any uneven areas. 

The trial involved machines fitted with Caterpillar‘s Cat Machine Drive Power technology and Cat Compaction Meter Value.  

These features are noted to allow drivers to set target depths and compaction levels using a device from within the cab of the machine. 

This further enables the operator to pre-set the roller, automating the process and adhering to precise parameters.  

It ensures safety by reducing the need for ground-level checks during compaction . 

Galliford Try Innovation and Research Lead Jon de Souza said: “We believe that connected and autonomous plant has the potential to transform construction over the coming years, improving safety and productivity while reducing carbon emissions.  

“We look forward to continuing our work with National Highways to trial this technology across our infrastructure delivery.” 

During this month, Galliford Try was selected by Cityheart for phase one of the construction of the Wigan Galleries redevelopment.   

The £135m project will add new homes, a food hall, retail facilities, and a hotel, among other features.