Faster infrastructure maintenance could save the UK £500m/year

A report by transport consultants Volterra has shown that using an innovative method of ground engineering could reduce infrastructure maintenance duration by 2x to 10x, significantly reducing UK infrastructure costs, including:

  • £400m annual savings for the Rail industry
  • £85m annual reduction in the impact of roadworks
  • £19m per day reduction in the cost of airport maintenance

Transport consultants Volterra examined the impact of faster infrastructure maintenance in the UK. They found that the use of geopolymer injection for ground stabilisation and improvement works means remediation can be completed 2-10x faster for equivalent cost. By modelling the impact on roadworks, rail maintenance and airport works they identified significant cost savings for the companies involved and the economy:

Rail Infrastructure

Rail Infrastructure

£400m annual savings from faster maintenance

Volterra found that previous Geobear projects with Network Rail have typically resolved unstable, rocking slab track between 2x and 10x faster than traditional methods for the same cost.

Lower Financial Penalties:

  • Reduction in S3 and S8 payments due to faster maintenance
  • Reduction in lost income from VUC

Reduction in Socio-economic costs:

  • Time delays to passengers
  • Additional costs from using alternative methods of transport

Volterra modeled the impact of Geobear's time saving advantage on three routes in Wales, North West and London, factoring in data such as passenger numbers, service frequency, planned and unplanned maintenance.

£5m per day

Saving for unplanned critical works with high passenger demand

Annual Maintenace Savings

Annual maintenance savings from reduced financial penalties and socio-economic costs

Geobear’s injection method was successfully delivered in four shifts to complete a targeted structural void fill at Oxford station. The traditional alternative would have taken 5x more shifts.

Bill Smalley. Construction Manager, Network Rail. Network Rail
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Road

Road

£85m per year decrease in impact from roadworks

Volterra evaluated a number of scenarios for road maintenance based on the performance of previous Geobear work including stabilisation and improvement works on the M11 and stabilising roads in Reading. They found most of the economic cost of roadworks is socio-economic - the impact of delays and closures on road users.

By modelling Geobear's typical performance improvements on road products against major and minor highway projects, Volterra were able to estimate the cost impact of faster maintenance - totalling £87m per year.

Cost Savings per km from use of geopolymer injection


Cost Savings per km from use of geopolymer injection Cost Savings per km from use of geopolymer injection

Geobear’s solution to the essential embankment repair at M11 Girton interchange has been a highlight of this year’s 2018/19 programme of works. Overall the programme of delivery has seen large improvement versus comparative methods of work.

Karl Brooks. Project Manager, Highways England Highways England
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Plane

Airports

£19.3m saving by reducing a whole-day closure to just one hour

The report modelled potential runway closures of airports in Cardiff, Luton and Heathrow. Most of the financial impact is bourne by the airport and airlines including:

  • Loss of landing fees

    while the airport is closed

  • Cost of delays

    higher staff, airport and handling costs as well as passanger compensation

  • Cost of diversions

    additional landing fees, repositioning of aircraft and staff as well as passenger compensation

  • Cost of cancellations

    passenger compensation and network effects

  • Environmental costs

    from holding in the air, diversions and repositioning aircraft

Evidence showed that Geobear's solution could reduce a whole-day runway closure to between one and three hours. Savings vary between airport size with savings from one single runway closure being as much as £19.3m for a large airport.

Stopwatch

5x

Reduction in time to perform runway stabilisation works

Cost savings based on reducing a whole day closure to 1 hour

Airport


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The Transport Report was produced by Volterra consultants in partnership with Geobear:

Geobear

Geobear created geopolymer injection and have been providing ground improvement solutions worldwide completing over 200,000 projects over the past 40 years.

Geobear has provided ground engineering solutions to:

Geobear Parters

Geobear are building smart infrastructure together with CSIC

CSIC
Volterra

Volterra is a niche consultancy specialising in the economics of transport and property development who provide advice to public and private sector clients based on 30 years practical experience

Volterra have consulted with::

Volterra

Geopolymer Injection Delivers Ground Improvement 10x Faster Than Traditional Solutions

UPTO 40mm HOLES ARE DRILLED INTO THE SUBSTANDARD GROUND

Drill

THE GEOPOLYMER IS INJECTED IN ITS LIQUID STATE

Inject

GEOPOLYMER FLOWS TO FILL VOIDS AND EXPANDS

Expand

GEOPOLYMER HARDENS WITHIN MINUTES GIVING 150kPA COMPRESSIVE STRENGTH

Stabilise

Geobear's solution is suitable for a wide variety of ground improvement works including:

Pumping/Rocking Slabs
Stuck doors and windows (before)
Slab/Surface Settlement
Slab/Surface Settlement
Bridge/Approach Settlement
Bridge/Approach Settlement
Voiding Behind Wing Walls
Voiding Behind Wing Walls
Water Ingress Reduction
Water Ingress Reduction
Stabilisation of Sub-surface Structures
Stabilisation of Sub-surface Structures
Improvement of Contaminated Soils
Improvement of Contaminated Soils
Bulk Void Filling
Bulk Void Filling
Incompetent Soils
Improvement of Contaminated Soils
Subsidence Features
Subsidence Features
Track Realignment
Track Realignment
Residential Subsidance
Residential Subsidance

Faster, Cheaper and Less Disruption than Traditional Methods

Geo-Polymer Injection
Geopolymer Injection
Traditional Underpinning
Traditional Maintenance
Typical Time Taken

2-10x

faster

Vs

Project dependent

Project Cost

££

Comparable to traditional methods

Vs

££

Solution Lifetime

120

Years

Vs

50-100

Years

Typical Density

30-300 KG/M³

Vs

2400 KG/M³

Curing Time

3 minutes

Vs

6 hours

M11 Emergency Ground Stabilisation

M11 Emergency Ground Stabilisation

Geobear was contacted by WSP to provide a design solution for a voiding and ground improvement. The focus throughout development and delivery was to “minimise the duration and disruption of the works without compromising safety”. This was achieved by employing four crews, two working on the north and two in south bridge abutment simultaneously. The project was successfully delivered two days ahead of schedule (including additional treatment to areas outside of the initial scope).

BBC News

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