19 October 2009

M74 completion creates new from old

The old carriageway of the existing M74 motorway is being recycled in the construction of the new M74 Completion.

The M74 Completion project is committed to the reuse and recycling of aggregate material wherever possible. The most recent initiatives have seen the reuse of 65,000 tonnes of material resulting in a CO2 reduction of 118,000 tonnes, equivalent to the daily output of over 113,300 people - nearly twice the combined population of Rutherlgen and Cambulsang through which the route passes.

The carriageway of the existing M74 was resurfaced in 2008 at Lesmahagow with material being stored for potential future use in the motorway completion which stretches from Fullarton Road Junction near Carmyle to the M8 west of the Kingston Bridge.

Nearly 40,000 tonnes of material has been imported and is currently taking on a temporary role aiding the settlement of one of the embankments at the Farmeloan Road Underbridge in Rutherglen after which it will be used as permanent fill material.

The project has also been working in conjunction with NISP Scotland - an industrial symbiosis programme funded by the Scottish Government to facilitate recovery, reuse and reprocessing of materials between companies.

NISP identified a source of suitable material from another nearby construction project within 500 yards of the M74 Completion. 25,000 tonnes of clay produced by excavation works at Scottish Enterprise’s Cambuslang Investment Park will be recycled as fill material in the construction of the new motorway providing environmental benefits.

Stewart Stevenson, Minister for Transport, Environment and Sustainable Growth said:

"Recycling measures within with the M74 Completion project are a demonstration of the ways in which road building projects can be made more sustainable.

"In December last year we laid before Parliament the most ambitious climate change bill anywhere in the world and greener construction methods can help us reach us our emissions reduction target of at least 80 per cent by 2050.

"In these challenging economic times we need to pursue every possible opportunity we have to create wealth. The M74 Completion project supports our purpose of sustainable economic growth and it is being built in ways which also respect our environment and natural resources."

Alistair Trail, NISP Practitioner, explained:

"By working with a Chief Materials Engineer from the M74 Project, NISP were able to source material from a local excavation project thus reducing carbon emissions from transportation and diverting material from landfill."

Over 500,000 tonnes of aggregate will be recycled during the construction of the five mile route, enough, if piled 1m high, to cover the playing surfaces of Hampden, Ibrox and Celtic Park more than 11 times over.

Material has been sourced from the Sighthill and Royston areas of Glasgow, demolished flats in the Gorbals and the former Hoover factory in Cambuslang. The practice of using recycled or reclaimed aggregate has significant positive environmental impacts as it mitigates the need to quarry virgin material and can also reduce carbon emissions by making use of sources nearer to the site of construction, minimising transportation requirements.

Project contractor Interlink M74 Joint Venture has a comprehensive range of initiatives in place to minimise waste and maximise the ruse of materials; to date 82% of the 2,338 tonnes of waste produced by the project to date has been recycled. In addition, its paper recycling initiative has saved 112 trees from use as paper pulp.

David Welsh, Interlink M74 Joint Venture Project Director, said:

"We have adopted a robust and diverse series of environmental objectives for the M74 Completion project which includes waste management and sustainability. For this objective, we have focused on ensuring that our operations beneficially reuse materials where possible and that our waste streams are recovered and recycled where possible.

"Through excellent working practices and understanding of the natural and built environments we have been able to use these significant quantities of recycled aggregates in the construction of the new section of motorway. This achievement involves everyone on the project from the client, designers and planners to those at the workface as well as suppliers and subcontractors."

The project’s sustainability achievements continue to be recognised within the industry and it has again been awarded full points for environmental performance in its annual review by the Considerate Constructors Scheme, a national programme which monitors companies against a code of best practice beyond statutory requirements.

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