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Westlink, Belfast

envirobed ha104
composite manhole cover
coverTEC D400 composite frame, being bedded on to Ultracrete Envirobed HA104

Ultracrete's coverTEC Keeps Belfast's Motorway Network Flowing


Highways Maintenance Contractor, GRAHAM Highway Management Maintenance (HMM), have recently installed two of Ultracrete's coverTEC composite covers and frames along a stretch of the busy Westlink in Belfast.

The Westlink, designated the A12, is an important link in the Belfast motorway network and serves as a vital artery to the city. It connects the M1 to the south of Belfast and the M2 and M3 to the north and east. Second only to the M2, it is one of the busiest roads in Northern Ireland, carrying 65,000 vehicles a day. As well as tens of thousands of daily commuters, virtually all traffic heading to Belfast Port from the south travels along the Westlink.

The DBFO Company HMG, had been experiencing problems with recurring failures with a number of their existing manhole covers and frames along the Westlink.

The heavy volume of traffic was taking its toll and a long term solution was sought to alleviate the ongoing problem. Ultracrete, already providing years of technical advice to GRAHAM HMM's Sustainable and Innovative Development managers, were once again approached for their specialist counsel.

Ultracrete recommended the installation of their coverTEC class D400 vehicular access cover to resolve the issue. The cover is an ideal solution for problem areas such as those exposed to heavy trafficking and prone to repetitve failures. They are made from an advanced composite structure of glass resin and fibre instead of conventional metal and are therefore very lightweight, offer single person removal, have no scrap value and cannot be melted down or reused. The covers also boast a hgih skid resistance value of 60> PSRV and offer a 15 year product replacement guarantee, whereas their metal counterparts require replacement after just 5 years. coverTEC frames are designed with a torsion tube for added stability and rigidity, furthermore, they offer full face seating for the cover, eliminating any rocking motion and displacement.

Consequently coverTEC covers offer substantial savings to the end users, their longevity eradicates the maintenance and replacement costs synonymous with traditional manhole covers as well as vastly reducing labour and traffic management costs during installation.

The coverTEC frames and covers were installed using materials from Ultracrete's BBA/HAPAS Approved Manhole Reinstatement System, such as Envirobed HA104 high performance bedding mortar, which exceeds HA104 requirements adopted by the Highways Agency, Department of Transport and SROH. It achieves a superior compressive strength of 51N/mm2 and a tensile strength of 5.8N/mm2 in just 3 hours, offering significant resistance to heavy trafficking and manhole frame deflection. QC10 F Fast Set Rapid Strength Flowable Concrete, a two-part fibre modified flowable concrete, was used as the back fill around the manhole farmes thus providing a solid restraining course and increasing the durability of the reinstatement. The site was surface finished with a hot overlay.

Also available as part pf Ultracrete's HAPAS Approved System; Ultracrete SCJ Cold Joint Sealer and Tack Coat spray, which is applied onto vertical edges and the surface base of the reinstatement before the application of asphalt and Ultracrete Instant Road Repair Cold Lay Asphalt Concrete for first time permanent reinstatements.

The system makes an ideal accompaniment to the superior solution that coverTEC offers.

For further information on Ultracrete coverTEC Composite Covers please call 01827 871871 or email

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