TRL have been awarded four 7-year contracts by National Highways to supply intrusive pavement survey and testing services in the Southeast and Midlands regions, and non-intrusive pavement survey and testing services in the Southeast and East regions.
Pavement surveys are commissioned to support the development and design of network maintenance and improvement schemes. Intrusive and non-intrusive surveys provide quality technical data and physical material samples which can be used to identify defects and structural failings within the pavement structure. Survey methods included within the contract include ground penetrating radar (GPR), Deflectograph, Coring and DCP, all supported by TRLs UKAS accredited laboratory, and TRL’s wider community of Engineers, Researchers and Data Scientists.
The four contracts replace the previous TST (Technical Surveys and Testing) frameworks, providing a collaborative contract format within National Highways’ Asset Delivery Operating Model, creating new opportunities for National Highways to meet its commitment to deliver a better service for road users and to support a growing economy. TRL intends to deliver the intrusive and non-intrusive surveys and testing work supported by our trusted suppliers, which include including Surrey County Council, SOCOTEC, Zetica and Chevron. These contracts represent an innovative contracting approach for National Highways with a range of additional benefits.
Through a programme of ongoing continuous improvement, TRL will enhance its existing capability to deliver pavement surveys and testing fit for future needs. A next generation of survey technicians, materials engineers and scientists will be fostered via TRL’s established apprenticeships and graduate programmes. These staff will be supplemented by the continuous development of new pavement condition assessment techniques and technology, sourced by TRL’s Research Academy.
Matt Sercombe, Operations Director at TRL commented: "TRL is delighted to support National Highways in these long term, regional contracts which will be far more collaborative in nature, will foster better network understanding and help to improve the customer experience. We also look forward to improving methods of data collection over the contract tenure. This procurement will enable the supply chain to innovate and improve efficiency, safety and sustainability. TRL views this as an ideal opportunity in particular to digitise the data, collect better quality data, and speed up data sharing to improve the decision-making process."
Collaboration will also be a key part of TRL’s delivery. TRL will work with survey suppliers from other regions of the Strategic Road Network, with the aim of reducing the need for excessive surveys, ultimately reducing disruptive road closures and risk to manual data collection staff.