With the introduction of the New Roads and Street Works Act 1991, all statutory undertakers became fully responsible for all aspects of excavation and reinstatement of the highway. They are required to reinstate to national performance standards and to comply with minimum guarantee periods in accordance with the new national Code of Practice Specification for the Reinstatement of Openings in Highways. A TRL study, commissioned by the Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions (formerly Department of Transport) in 1993, was carried out to identify any problems following the introduction of the Specification in relation to compliance with the Specification and standards of workmanship. Sample studies and monitoring programmes were set up in several Highway Authority areas in co-operation with national utility companies comprising Electricity, Gas, Water, Telecommunications and Cable TV. The results showed that the main aspects of reinstatement practice which can cause problems are the number of compaction passes, layer thicknesses, use of suitable compaction equipment and storage of materials on site. Improvements are needed in all these areas if good quality reinstatements are to be achieved consistently. No evidence was found to show that any specific utility company had a higher degree of failure than the others. It is recommended that further monitoring of the study sites and bi-annual monitoring of randomly selected sites should be undertaken by an independent body. If the monitoring identifies deficiencies, measures should be taken to improve compliance with the Specification. It is also recommended that training requirements for supervisors and operatives, in the areas of compaction and materials specification, should be reviewed. It is suggested that the specified reinstatement designs for footways should be reviewed based on the existing construction and the level of trafficking. (A)

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