BBC – M11 Geobear report

Drilling deep beneath the M11. It’s
midnight and this work has been taking
place every night at junction 14. This a
new technique to reinforce roads
suffering from erosion.
Rather than rebuilding it from scratch,
they are injecting a special geopolymer
underneath the surface, that expands and
then hardens, in a matter of minutes.
In this job, I think we have pumped about
1,000 kilos or so, and the cavities
haven’t been so far as big as as we had
anticipated. Although I have just been
informed that we have found some quite
sizeable cavities right now, so we expect
to inject more material tonight.
This “Ghostbuster style slime” is afraid of no voids. It’s even used to stop building subsidence.
Last night they found some
gaps, nearly a meter deep.
All there is between the actual road pavement
construction and the ground, is a large
air void. If a lorry or something were to
park on that particular area for any
length of time, there’s the potential for
catastrophic failure.
What, it would collapse?
It would potentially collapse, yes.
Motorists heading north on the M11 cannot currently come off the A14 heading east.
They have to head to the next exit and come back round.
Traditional rebuilding techniques would
have used tens of thousands of tons of
material and closed the road for months.
We are providing about three times
faster void filling method, than it
would be if they would do the mass
excavation, that was done on the other side.
We’re very pleased with this
technique that we’ve got on this side.
It’s going to take us about three weeks.
On the other side of the road where we
did a more traditional technique, it took
about eight weeks so the effect on the
commuters has been reduced significantly.
Well this work will be continuing for
the next two weeks at night. And then
this part of the road will reopen, like
the rest of the M11 and the A14, by October the 13th.
Simon Denman BBC Look East, the Girton interchange.

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