From The High Street To The Motorway: GPR For...

From The High Street To The Motorway: GPR For Road And Pavement Assessment

According to the Highway Safety Hub, there can be as many as one utility strike per day on average.

What is the main cause of this?

Inaccurate information about buried service locations.

When it comes to road and pavement assessment, 7 billion per annum is the cost of utility streetworks to the UK economy.

Yet, hidden beneath the surface lies potential risks that, if left unaddressed, can lead to fatal accidents, costly repairs, major fines and even prosecution.


The Risks of Neglecting Road and Pavement Assessment


Disruption to work and to the public, more importantly, the potential to cause serious injury or death to the operatives involved, should be your motive to ensure a road and pavement assessment.


  • Infrastructure damage emerges as a pressing concern, leading to service disruptions, costly repairs, and compromised roadway integrity, directly impacting those responsible for the upkeep.
  • Financial strains become evident as unexpected repairs due to utility damage disrupt budget allocations, causing financial challenges for highway maintenance projects.
  • Project delays further complicate matters for your team, hindering project timelines and potentially incurring additional costs.
  • Legal ramifications and regulatory non-compliance present a tangible risk, potentially resulting in violations and penalties.

Ultimately, a utility strike can have disastrous affects to your project, and potentially cause serious harm, or even fatalities, to your operatives.

For example, in 2018, one of the G&R Groundworks (South East) operatives struck an 11kv electricity cable causing a large flash and engulfing him in flames.

The victim sustained serious burns, amounting to approximately 50% total body surface area burns.

The HSE (Health and Safety Executive) found that G&R Groundworks had failed to source and refer to the underground services.

In order to avoid this type of disaster on your site, a utility survey for road and pavement assessment needs to be provided.


The Role of Utility Surveys in Mitigating Risks


Utility surveys stand as a crucial part of your project planning.

The work area must be surveyed to locate underground utilities, to prevent accidents happening as a result of missed gas pipes, water pipes or even telecommunication lines.

Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) stands as a technological choice in utility surveys, offering non-invasive insights into subsurface structures.

This technology allows professionals to visualise and identify underground utilities accurately, reducing the risk of accidental damage during construction or maintenance activities.


GPR Survey For Roads: Improving Conditions And Maximising Safety


Buried contamination could harm the environment’s plants, animals, and even future construction.

When assessing roads and pavements, using GPR is a non-destructive way to scan materials such as concrete that can be pierced before cutting, drilling, or performing other non-destructive tests.

Whether you’re assessing roads for new structures, or maintaining the existing road structure, GPR helps to predict the life span of the road.

Some benefits of using GPR for road assessment are:

  • Precision In Identifying Underground Utilities

GPR technology stands out for its precision in identifying underground utilities, offering a clear view beneath the surface. This capability becomes particularly crucial in road assessment, ensuring that the intricate network of utilities beneath roadways is accurately mapped and understood.

  • Safeguarding Against Accidental Damage During Road Construction

By providing real-time insights into subsurface structures, GPR enables road construction teams to navigate around critical utilities with precision, minimising the risk of unintentional damage and preserving the integrity of the road infrastructure.

  • Financial Efficiency in Road Maintenance

With a comprehensive understanding of subsurface conditions, road maintenance budgets remain intact, and operational efficiency is enhanced.

  • Ensuring Regulatory Compliance for Road Projects

For road projects, regulatory compliance is paramount. GPR technology ensures adherence to regulations, such as Permit To Dig, by providing thorough utility surveys, you to operate within legal frameworks. This not only prevents regulatory penalties but also streamlines the execution of road projects.

  • Elevating Public Safety and Satisfaction on Roads

By proactively addressing potential risks and minimiing disruptions caused by utility damage, GPR contributes to the creation of safer roadways. This, in turn, fosters a positive public perception of the entities responsible for road maintenance.


Conclusion: Why You Need A GPR Survey 


Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) is beneficial in road assessment, offering precision in navigating the complexities beneath our roadways.

This utility detection technology provides accurate utility identification, minimising construction-related damage, and enhancing financial efficiency. Beyond compliance, GPR elevates public safety and satisfaction.

If you are currently working on a road or pavement project, and you’re looking for some technical assistance, please get in touch with a member of the Intersect Surveys team.

We provide not only GPR services, but other forms of utility detection, that can help you to keep your project on budget, on time, and in the required legal state.

Get in touch today!




Why Is Road And Pavement Assessment Crucial For Maintenance Teams?

Road and pavement assessment is crucial to identify potential risks such as underground utility locations, ensuring safe construction and minimising the risk of accidents. Neglecting assessments can lead to infrastructure damage, financial strain, and public inconvenience.


How Does Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) Technology Benefit Road Assessments?

GPR technology offers a non-invasive solution to accurately identify underground utilities during road assessments.


What Role Do Reputable Survey Companies Play In Road Maintenance?

Reputable survey companies, such as Intersect Surveys, leverage GPR technology to provide precise road assessments.


How Does GPR Technology Contribute To Financial Efficiency In Road Maintenance?

GPR technology contributes to financial efficiency by reducing unforeseen costs associated with utility damage. With a clear understanding of subsurface conditions, road maintenance budgets remain intact, ensuring a cost-effective approach to infrastructure upkeep.


Can Neglecting Road Assessments Lead To Long-Term Structural Issues?

Yes, neglecting road assessments can lead to long-term structural issues such as compromised pavement integrity. Accidental damage to underground utilities may result in uneven surfaces, potholes, and deterioration, necessitating extensive and costly repairs in the future.

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