A healthy competition between home nations is always good to see - after all it didn't do Wales any harm in the recent European championships. So Transport Network was pleased to see that after Highways England claimed to have broken its own resurfacing record, a similar feat came hard on its heels from north of the border.
This time the project involved Tarmac and Amey, who claim that a recent highways surfacing project on the M9 has set a new benchmark for laying output in Scotland.
The project on the M9 between Junctions 6 and 7 of the northbound carriageway saw Tarmac and Amey lay 2,460 tonnes of asphalt in just 29 hours, as part of Amey’s G4 South East contract with Transport Scotland.
A full closure of the road allowed Tarmac to lay material using two paving machines to boost productivity and ensure joint-free construction and consistent compaction across the full width of the carriageway.
With asphalt from Tarmac’s nearby Hillwood and Cairney Hill quarries, it was also able to cut delivery timescales.
The English crews of Balfour Beatty Mott MacDonald, laid an average of 163.7 tonnes of road surface every hour with a total of 1146.3 tonnes laid during one Saturday night shift.
Commenting on the success of the Scottish project, Andrew Grimsley, general manager, Tarmac Contracting Scotland said: 'This project’s success is the result of a collaborative attitude to delivery, proactive management and a team that is focused on results.'
Tom Wallace, account director for Amey South East Trunk Roads Unit, added: 'This is a perfect example of Amey working closely with our contractors - and utilising cutting-edge technology - to ensure we continue to deliver high quality results faster and with even greater cost-efficiency. It is an innovative approach to working that directly benefits our customers and the travelling public.'
Both projects appear to have benefited from getting the preparatory work out the way first, then laying a large section all in one go.
There is the suggestion that each might be boasting slightly by not including the time this preparatory work takes, but hey, isn't every great rivalry based on similar game playing.