At Murray Andrews Ltd, when we state that we perform tarmac surfacing and pothole repairs in the Guildford area, most people would assume that we only work on roads and public highways. Similarly, screw piling is often associated with large-scale construction sites. The truth is that while these may be the most frequent uses for such services, our civil engineers and road repair contractors perform these jobs for a variety of purposes, suiting a diverse range of needs for different customers.
This page details some interesting facts about screw piling, pothole repairs and tarmac surfacing that you may be unaware of.
While our civil engineers mostly undertake screw piling around Guildford to create embedded retaining walls, which allow for the construction of basements, tunnel approaches and underpasses, screw piling is also useful for erecting masts, lamp posts, signs and billboards.
Some interesting facts about screw piling include:
• Invented by Alexander Mitchell almost 200 years ago, who was completely blind
• Also known as helical piling, screw piling anchors a structure to the ground instead of ‘gluing’ it, like concrete
• Originally intended for mooring ships at sea, and later used to build Brighton Pier and Maplin Sands Lighthouse
• Aside from constructing houses, civil engineers like us also use screw piling for roads and railways
• As they consist of metal, screw piles are fully recyclable and suitable for re-use
• Civil engineers use screw piling in areas prone to earthquakes, as it provides excellent structural support
As road repair contractors, pothole repairs are our bread and butter. Potholes are rife throughout Guildford and the rest of the country, particularly during the winter months. In fact, according to the director of the RAC, the UK has a backlog of over £10billion worth of pothole repairs to carry out.
Here are some things you may not know:
• A pothole must be at least 40mm deep, otherwise it is just a hole in the road
• In 2018, Surrey County Council had the highest report of roads in need of pothole repairs, more than double any other council. Located in Surrey, Guildford is therefore a busy area for road repair contractors like us
• The total number of pending pothole repairs throughout the UK currently exceeds 100,000
• London consistently ranks bottom on the list of regions with the most pothole repairs carried out each year
• If you combined every pothole in the country, it would reach a depth of over 30km
• Even with road repair contractors like us undertaking pothole repairs on a daily basis, you could still fit approximately 60,000 Ford Focuses inside the UK’s potholes
While most people may consider tarmac to be a very specific material, it is actually a generic name for all road surfacing materials consisting of tar-like substances mixed with aggregates like gravel, sand, cement or concrete. Used by civil engineers and road repair contractors alike throughout Guildford, tarmac has universal appeal, due to its versatility and the fact that maintenance and repairs cost far less than pavements and roads made from other materials.
Tarmac is a bit of a misnomer, as most of the ‘tar’ making up tarmac surfacing is in fact bitumen. The ‘mac’ refers to John McAdam, who supposedly invented tarmac surfacing. While he did invent crushed stone surfaces, it was actually Edgar Hooley who created tarmac surfacing in 1902.
As the story goes, Hooley was near an ironworks in Derby and discovered that workers had poured waste slag from the furnaces over a tar spillage on the road to clear up the mess. This smooth section of road gave him the idea for tarmac surfacing.