Advanced jet-washing technology used to blast rubber from Britain’s airport runways could soon be cleaning up the streets of Birmingham.
One of the companies bidding for the city’s £2.2 billion highways maintenance contract has adapted its unique TrackJet runway cleaning system for use on roads. It has already been trialled on four sites in Solihull.
The giant computer-controlled TrackJet machine has an ultra high pressure jetter head made up of 48 nozzles blasting water onto the surface at a rate of 28 litres a minute. The system has been used to blast rubber off most airport runways in the UK, including Birmingham International.
Operated by Ringway – part of Birmingham Street Services – the machine has now been adapted to be used on highway surfaces.
Birmingham Street Services bid manager Steve Pate said it was a unique system, using water at extremely high pressure but low volume.
“The system can run for up to seven hours on a single tank. It collects all the water it uses, and leaves the surface near dry and immediately usable,” he said.
“The TrackJet machine has a range of computerised settings and can be used to remove paint, remove tyre rubber, remove excess bitumen, restore texture, restore ant-skid surfacing and generally extend the life of a road surface. All this can be done by one-man operation and with the minimum of disruption. The machine also has low fuel consumption and zero aggregate use, and so continues to contribute to our carbon footprint reduction.”
The machine removes rubber from the runways at Birmingham International Airport each autumn, and has also been used to remove paint lines.
It has also carried out work on motorways and major routes for the Highways Agency.
Birmingham Street Services is one of two organisations bidding for the £2.2 billion Birmingham City Council Highways PFI contract.
Ringway, part of the Vinci Group, is the market leader in highway maintenance services to local authorities in the UK and an expert in innovative materials and sustainable, high quality road maintenance.