Best practice in thin surfacings A major element of road maintenance relates to the wearing course of the highway. Over the last five years the main wearing material that has been tried and tested for the last fifty years has swiftly given way to the new thin surfacings and stone mastic asphalts adopted in Europe. The impact of these new materials is so great that some authorities have virtually ceased to use rolled asphalt. The rapid introduction of new thin surfacing materials throughout the UK has meant that there has been no time for lessons to be learnt.. These Best Practice Guidelines for Negative Texture Surfaces (NTS) have been produced, therefore, to provide a methodology for site evaluation and material selection, to ensure that the right material is installed in the right site, together with a structured approach to the factors which may have a bearing on distress mechanisms. Generally, NTS is performing equally well or better than traditional materials in most circumstances on local authority highways. The guidelines provide a rational approach to the engineering selection of NTS, and a checklist together with a series of decision charts enables a consistent approach for site evaluation. These guidelines were produced by W S Atkins [www.atkinsglobal.com] and published in June 2006.
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