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Heathfield High Street

Description of Works

Working closely with Costain/Jacobs, FM Conway delivered a durable materials solution for Heathfield High-Street to keep this important local hub open for business for longer.

These aims were at the heart of a recent £500,000 project delivered at Heathfield High-Street in East Sussex, where FM Conway holds a highways surfacing partnership with Costain/Jacobs and East Sussex County Council.  Part of a wider programme managed by Costain/Jacobs, FM Conway was briefed to renew 3,600m2 of road surface along the high street, which had deteriorated after many years.

Services used on this project Major Projects Aggregates & Asphalt Surfacing
Delivering Innovation

Minimising disruption for local shops and traders was crucial to the scheme’s success. 

FM Conway’s Senior Operational Manager, Richard Coughlin, comments:

“The programme required periods of road closures so careful phasing by Costain/Jacobs, FM Conway and the other partners was vital to reduce the impact on Heathfield’s shops. 

“The material mix we specified was also chosen to maximise durability – driving cost efficiencies for East Sussex County Council and reducing public disruption by ensuring that repairs wouldn’t be required again for many years.”

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This was a high-profile scheme that required thorough planning, excellent communications and close cooperation by all project partners.

Mike Egleton - Service Director for East Sussex Highways
Challenges and Solutions

The week-long scheme was staggered across three phases along the high-street, with Costain/Jacobs coordinating the project partners and liaison with local businesses.  Each aspect of works, from initial carriageway reconstruction through to road markings, occurred continuously where possible to drive productivity.  FM Conway marshals were on hand throughout to guide the public and keep them safe.

Once the carriageway reconstruction works overseen by Costain were complete, FM Conway planed the road surface to a depth of 65mm, transporting all arisings to its Chelsfield depot for recycling. 

Richard continues: “We then laid a 6mm SMA Surf from our Erith asphalt plant, followed by a CG100 Geotextile membrane to ensure good adhesion with the surface course and to maximise the road’s resistance to reflective cracking, which is where pressure on one road layer spreads to another.  After this, we laid a 10mm Surepave Polymer Modified Bitumen (PMB) surface course, also supplied from Erith, to a depth of 45mm.  The addition of PMB, which we produce at our Gravesend facility, means the road can flex which helps it to last longer.”




The programme was continuously reviewed to drive efficiencies. 

“We re-allocated the stretch of works outside the Co-Operative store to one night shift to avoid any impact on daytime trading,” says Richard.  “The carriageway reconstruction stage of the final phase was also completed quicker than anticipated, so by revising our resurfacing programme, we were able to finish the overall scheme two days early.”

Mike Egleton, Service Director for East Sussex Highways, said:

“This was a high-profile scheme that required thorough planning, excellent communications and close cooperation by all project partners.  A fantastic team effort ensured that we kept residents and businesses’ needs in mind at all times, delivering the project ahead of schedule and safeguarding the high-street’s future.  It is a blueprint for how we should manage similar schemes in future.”