Building a cycle path – completion

The final phase in the cycle path construction was the road surfacing. This involved laying and rolling several tonnes of hot asphalt.

Hot asphalt going down

Hot asphalt going down

Steaming tarmac

Steaming tarmac

Whereas a normal road construction can be around 250mm thick and installed in several layers, the light duty cycle path surface was 60mm thick and in two layers.

Completed path

Completed path

The final process was the road markings where an unusual scene was depicted of a square wheeled bicycle being held up by an egyptian hieroglyphic bandit

Just square that wheel up and we're done ...

Just square that wheel up and we’re done …

"walk like a highway bandit"

“insert your own caption here”

Building a cycle path – completing the sub-base

With a firm and level sub-grade established, the next step in the process of the cycleway was the construction of the sub-base. This required importing several tonnes of crushed rock which was laid and compacted using a roller.

Sub-base compaction

Sub-base compaction

This then acted as a capping over the sub-grade soil allowing us to traffic site plant to lay the concrete edging kerbs. These were bedded on a lean-mix concrete base to ensure they were adequately supported both in the construction phase and the final scheme.

Edging kerbs being laid

Edging kerbs being laid

Concrete edging well-supported by in-situ concrete base

Edging kerb well-supported by in-situ concrete surround

Further crushed stone was then imported and laid to the final sub-base formation level and compacted ready for the “fun” part – the roadbase. The only thing more enjoyable in the construction industry than watching concrete being poured is seeing (and smelling) hot Tarmac being laid.

Sub-base crushed stone prior to compaction

Sub-base and kerbs ready for road base

Building a cycle path – Day 2

Following the initial site setup and agreeing the route of the cycleway, on Day 2 the full excavation works were completed. The surface vegetation and top soil were stripped off and the pathway was excavated to good ground. Any vegetation or top soil could decompose leaving voids in the sub-grade possibly resulting in pathway failure through settlement. Fortunately in this case we reached a firm clay and rock subsoil at the specified formation level so were not required to excavate any further. Poor ground, soft spots and previous construction backfill can often require the sub-grade to be reduced even further which can add time and expense to a project.

Excavation to formation level

Excavation to formation level

 

Due to the anticipated light-duty traffic of a cycle path it is generally not a requirement to test the strength of a sub-grade on site. In this case, the Highways Inspector made another visit to confirm the suitability of the soil and allowed the next phase of works to commence: the sub-base…

Visual inspection of the sub-grade

Visual inspection of the sub-grade

Building a cycle path – Day 1

On one of my construction projects we are required to provide a new cycle path running alongside the public highway and into the development. It is often a planning requirement of larger projects that the developer must contribute in some way towards improving the local transport links. With this particular project a cycle path was recommended by the local authority.

Initial site meeting with the contractor and local highways inspector

Initial site meeting with the contractor and local highways inspector

This morning we commenced the cycle path which required some on-site redesign to eliminate a couple of glaring errors. Rather than having a sharp bend at the exit of the development with a crash barrier to stop people cycling into the busy main road, we re-routed it slightly and introduced a sweeping bend. And the route of the whole path was also adjusted to give greater clearance from the existing street furniture. All fairly obvious and straightforward stuff, but also disappointingly common problems with many cycle paths.

Agreeing the route of the path

Agreeing the route of the path

Once these changes had been approved by the local council officer and the client we starting digging.

Works commence

Works commence

Excavation down to firm virgin soil

Excavation down to firm virgin soil