Planned Resurfacing Work In Lincolnshire Disrupted

Planned Resurfacing Work In Lincolnshire Disrupted

30th Jun 2022

Residents in North East Lincolnshire were disappointed when the local authority could not carry out its planned resurfacing works on the scheduled date, as a result of parked cars on the streets.

North East Lincolnshire Council revealed cars on West Street, George Street and Hart Street prevented workers from carrying out the project.

Once the vehicles were removed, the contractor was able to go ahead with the works. However, only part of William Street and one side of Blundell Avenue could be resurfaced for the same reason.

The council stated the contractor will return until the end of the week (June 24th) to finish the jobs, as well as resurface Reynolds Street.

However, after reminding residents to remove their vehicles to allow for the project to take place, the council stated: “If, on Friday June 24th, the contractor is still unable to carry out the works, then road surfacing will not be completed for that street in this year’s programme of works.”

The council has responsibility for 386 miles of adopted roads and carries out regular safety inspections, and possible repairs, for all of the streets it looks after.

Residents who see that defects have occurred before the next inspection is due can report the problem on its website to bring the issue to the attention of the authority.

In the case it cannot permanently repair the problem immediately, it will endeavour to make a temporary fix, depending on the risk to the public.


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The Most Unusual Construction Materials Ever Used

The Most Unusual Construction Materials Ever Used

28th Jun 2022

From heavy construction to surfacing contractors, the materials used to make most of the infrastructure we use every day.

From Portland cement and concrete to tarmac, steel and clay bricks, most of the building materials we commonly see are familiar to the vast majority of engineers, contractors and pedestrians alike.

However, amongst the more familiar materials we see being used every day in huge numbers, there are a lot of more unusual and strange materials that have previously been used in the construction of large projects, some of which may be very familiar.

Here are some of the most bizarre.


Lego Bricks

Whilst children and adults throughout the world know the potential of Lego bricks to bring an idea to life and create houses for little toy people, Lego has actually been used as a legitimate building material.

As part of the series James May’s Toy Stories, the former Top Gear and The Grand Tour presenter used 3.3m bricks and over a thousand volunteers to put together an actual Lego house that he spent the night in, to highlight its potential as a modular building material.

Unfortunately, for various reasons the house was dismantled soon after the episode was aired.


Works Of Fiction

One of the biggest and most important pieces of road infrastructure in recent years is the construction of the M6 toll road in 2003 to reduce congestion on one of the busiest motorways in the country.

However, what many people might not be aware of is that the top layer of the road itself is actually made from 2.5m old books.

Specifically, the Mills and Boon range of bodice rippers that were either damaged or at the end of the fast-moving line were pumped up and served as a top layer.

They served quite a few purposes at once; they absorbed sound very well and would form a sort of glue that held the tarmac and asphalt layers together.



One of the biggest sources of salt on earth is the Khewra Salt Mines, and because the slightly pinkish salt is so plentiful, it is not only mined and sprinkled on chips but also used to make buildings.

There is a post office and even a mosque made of the mines, used by miners who would spend a long time extracting salt.

Outside of the Himalayas, there is also the Palacio de Sal in Spain, which is a luxury hotel made of over one million blocks of salt.


Beer Bottles

In Thailand, in the district of Khun Han, monks and locals alike were alarmed by the number of bottles that were washing up in the water and wanted to have a solution that would help the environment in several ways.

Their answer was to collect empty beer bottles from the locals and build a temple out of them, the Wat Pa Maha Chedi Kaew (Temple of a Million Bottles). After finishing the main temple after two years of work in 1986, they have continued to expand the site to over 20 other buildings.

These include a crematorium, prayer rooms, a water tower, bungalows for the monks themselves as well as facilities for tourists. Even the beer bottle caps are used to make mosaics.

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World’s Largest Tower Crane Enters Full Production

World’s Largest Tower Crane Enters Full Production

17th Jun 2022

A tower crane that can reach over 90 metres in the air with no additional support and lift up to 600 tonnes has gone into full production, making it the largest tower crane in the world.

The XCMG XGT15000-600S was initially announced in December 2021, and six months later the first “super tower cranes” completed their journey through the assembly line.

This new crane hire, with an independent lifting height of 92.5 metres and a maximum lifting weight of 600 tonnes, takes a record that has been held for over 40 years by the Kroll K-10000.

By contrast, the venerable Danish tower crane can only lift 120 tonnes with a maximum height of 82 metres, a feat that at one point was considered to be insurmountable due to a wide range of technological and engineering bottlenecks.

The team at XCMG managed to resolve all of these through sheer scale; it is the size and weight of 100 conventional tower cranes and throughout its development led to the breakthrough of 60 core technologies.

The design, whilst officially classified as a tower crane, actually consists of a main flat-head tower, an auxiliary boom tower and also featured a manned lift, rather than a series of ladders.

It also includes a series of other world records, such as the first four-bar linkage, and the first crane that supports the type of “super rope” necessary to lift 600 tonnes. The crane was tested over 2,000 times over the span of 1,440 hours.

The intended use of a crane of this scale is to help facilitate the construction of huge construction projects such as the Changtai Yangtze River Bridge.

This bridge, along with other mega-bridge constructions uses a modular development system that would be far more difficult to undertake without considerable crane upgrades of the type not seen in decades.

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£62.7m Hotel Development Launches In Leeds

£62.7m Hotel Development Launches In Leeds

27th May 2022

There could be a big demand for crane hire specialists over the next couple of years, as a new 12-storey hotel is set to open in Leeds city centre.

UK Commercial Property REIT Limited has acquired a site to develop a new hotel that it claims will be “among the very best in Leeds”, the Yorkshire Post reported.

It will stretch across 140,000 square feet, consisting of 305 rooms, meeting rooms, a gym, and food and drink outlets, including a rooftop bar.

A spokesperson stated the £62.7 million development presents a good opportunity to provide Leeds with a top-quality hotel, as the city has “excellent central amenities but an under-supply of quality hotels”.

It will be situated on Sovereign Square in the city centre, which is in an excellent location for the railway station, office blocks, shops, and bars.

The hotel is anticipated to be ready for opening in 2024, and Hyatt Hotels has signed a 25-year franchise agreement for it, operated by Interstate Hotels & Resorts. It will be divided into short-stay lodgings Hyatt Place and long-stay Hyatt House brands. 

According to the official statement, revealed to the newspaper: “The development is targeting a BREEAM Excellent rating and will have a positive impact on the local community with the creation of a number of new jobs.”

The site was owned by Leeds City Council, and UKCM will fund the project, as it fits in with its strategy to invest in real estate that will provide “resilient rental incomes”.

As Leeds has been revealed as one of the fastest growing cities in the UK, the organisation chose it for its potential to deliver strong yields. Indeed, it has been highlighted as the main driver of the regional economy, which itself is expected to surge by 21 per cent within the next decade, thanks to a rise in business and financial services in the area.

This is not the only development in the pipeline for the Yorkshire city, as Southside Leeds Ltd is planning to submit pre-application proposals to develop a hotel and offices on a site next to Bridgewater Place in Holbeck, Insider Media reported.

Leeds City Council’s City Plans Panel will meet next week (May 19th) to discuss the idea to regenerate the Westbank site, after it was acquired by Stamford Property Holdings together with Shelborn Asset Management in 2021.

The current three-storey call centre and 117 car parking spaces will be transformed into two office buildings with both ground floor retail and leisure facilities, stretching nine and 11 storeys respectively. The plans also include a 19-storey hotel with 2,101 bedrooms, and a further two 11- and 12-storey office blocks.

If the council gives the proposal the go-ahead, there will also be fresh landscaping, public realm, cycle and pedestrian infrastructure for users of the buildings.

A planning officer’s report stated: “The proposal offers a significant opportunity to regenerate a large prominently located vacant brownfield city centre site.”

It went on to say the Westbank site, which has a capacity of 225,000 square feet, would “deliver new employment, visitor accommodation, public landscaped greenspace, new pedestrian and cycle connections and support the continuing regeneration of this area of the city centre”.


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£12 Billion Backlog In Local Road Repairs

£12 Billion Backlog In Local Road Repairs

12th May 2022

The state of the nation’s local roads often hits the headlines and it seems that more must yet still be done to make them fit for purpose, with the latest Annual Local Authority Road Maintenance survey from the Asphalt Industry Alliance (AIA) revealing a backlog of repairs in England and Wales of £12.64 billion.


Despite the fact that average highway maintenance budgets have risen, up four per cent on 2020/2021, the amount of investment in the carriageway has fallen, with the reported backlog climbing by 23 per cent compared to the previous 12 months.


Further findings include the fact that local councils would have required an additional £1 billion in 2021 to reach their own target road conditions, before even addressing the backlog.

In all, one pothole is filled every 19 seconds, while nearly one in five local roads could potentially need to be rebuilt within the next five years. Roads themselves are only resurfaced on average once every 70 years.

AIA chair Rick Green explained that while local authorities may have a legal responsibility to keep the roads safe, they lack the funds to do so “in a cost-effective, proactive way”. This has led to continued decline in the structure of the roads.

“Although surface repairs have a part to play in extending the life of local roads, short-term fixes, including filling potholes, is indicative of a network that is ‘on the edge’ and less efficient and sustainable when it comes to materials usage and whole-life carbon emissions,” he said.

Mr Green continued, noting that the recently announced three-year spend on maintenance in England is a “step in the right direction” but added that it doesn’t go far enough. Significant investment is required around the country to deliver a “safe, resilient sustainable network on which we can all rely”.

The study also revealed that the legacy of inconsistent funding across England and Wales is preventing engineers from providing long-term and cost-effective improvements for local roads. Instead, they are being forced to adopt a more piecemeal strategy, with patch and mend repairs taking place.

Further research from the UK Roads Liaison Group found that investment in the local road network would deliver a wide range of benefits, everything from helping the country achieve net zero and reducing pollution to improving biodiversity, supporting economic growth, helping with climate change adaptation and supporting accessibility and inclusion.

As the organisation emphasised in its report, England’s local road network is fundamental to life, now and well into the future. It is the public sector’s biggest physical asset, valued at nearly half a trillion pounds. Almost every journey begins and ends on a local road and if these roads did not exist, the economy would collapse to near zero.


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