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National Highways - Driving Digital Transformation

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ABOUT

“This isn’t business as usual, this is business better. We fully expect to recuperate the innovation budget in savings as a result of using this technology” 
 

Michael Ambrose (Technical Lead on the National Highways Concrete Roads Programme)  

The digital revolution has taken a hold on virtually every aspect of our lives and each day we witness technology branching out across all sectors and industries as they seek to raise productivity and streamline processes. Whilst the transport industry has in general profited from the digital revolution, specific areas such as highways maintenance are lagging behind, often still using pen and paper methods for data collection and analysis . This is something that National Highways is seeking to rectify with an innovative programme designed specifically for the concrete roads sector.

 

National Highways is investing £27.4 billion in the strategic road network (SRN) between 2020 and 2025. Digital data and technology are critical to its main objective: providing safer, smoother and more reliable journeys for its customers. 

Legacy concrete roads constitute 4% of the English strategic road network. Most were constructed over 40 years ago and are at the end of their theoretical design lives.

National Highways implemented the Concrete Roads Programme to repair and replace concrete roads over future maintenance periods and, as part of this, they are developing methods to enhance delivery efficiency and improve data quality to support long-term decision making.  

Over the past three years, KOREC Group has been working closely with National Highways (and its delivery partner Mott McDonald), with a focus on three particular areas, Mobile Mapping, Cloud based Portal adoption and Field data Capture. 

In the following three articles we aim to explain why this technology was adopted, how it was adapted to the specific demands of the programme and how the information is being used, both in the day-to-day management of the UK’s concrete roads and for future planning.  

The three papers will explain: 

  • How different technologies can be adopted, adapted and combined to overcome a range of challenges common to many large data collection projects. 

  • Why Highways England’s cloud-based, secure portal is key to the handling of the dense point cloud data generated by mobile mapping systems, why it enables better collaboration and how it can be developed to deal with future developments for even greater efficiencies. 

  • How the adoption of new methodologies can lead to the same technology being used in many new application areas as well as promoting an open mindset towards future planning processes from incremental changes to radical technological innovation! 

“Typically, to close a road and mark-out a 5km stretch of dual carriageway for defect repairs would take three shifts of 8 people and cost between £3k and £10k depending on the size of the job. Using KOREC Roadway functionality, we can now achieve the same amount of work in just one shift saving us around £20k on each 5km stretch.” 

Michael Ambrose

 Technical Lead on the National Highways Concrete Roads Programme

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