Railroad maintenance crews in the U.K. have been using sprayed polymer to strengthen track ballast for about a decade. One contractor now aims to go one step further and use strengthened ballast as a non-intrusive reinforcement for some of the country’s 25,000 aging brick-and-stone arch bridges. Balfour Beatty Rail Ltd., Redhill, is offering a method to treat a bridge and its polymer-coated ballast as a composite structure. The resulting enhanced strength of the arch can eliminate the need for concrete or steel reinforcement, says Andy Curzon, BBR’s head of technical services. The technique, called XiSPAN, would preserve the appearance of
The market is generally healthy and steadily growing, and margins are up for large specialty contractors. Further, advances in design tools and owner demand for collaboration are giving subcontractors a seat at the table early on in projects.