UK company launches new stormwater drainage system for highway applications


One of Europe’s largest manufacturers of plastic piping, water management, and sustainable drainage systems for the infrastructure sectors, Polypipe, has developed a new product to help reduce the problems associated with highway flooding.

With the UK expected to experience heavier rainfall, it is essential that stormwater does not collect on either new or existing road networks, as this can cause severe traffic congestion and road blockages. UK-based drainage systems developer and manufacturer Polypipe has launched Ridgichute, a new gully chute specifically designed for use in highway applications that enables captured water and sediment from high-risk carriageways to pass straight through into a Ridgidrain drainage system, preventing surface flooding.

The sumpless design reduces the risk to roadside workers needing to undertake gully maintenance by preventing blockages caused by silt accumulation. Captured water, silt and sediment is carried down the Polypipe Ridgidrain system into a chamber to the side of the carriageway, enabling safer maintenance activities to commence.

Ridgichute gully chutes are manufactured from lightweight polypropylene. They are designed to fit seamlessly with Highways Authority Product Approval Scheme (HAPAS)-approved Ridgidrain, the UK’s most popular surface water drainage piping system for use on highways projects. There are three sizes available, each with the choice of either an 8.8in or 11.8in (225mm or 300mm) outlet: 23.6 x 23.6in (600 x 600mm); 35.4 x 35.4in (900 x 900mm); and 47.2 x 26.5in (1200 x 675mm). These sizes have been designed in accordance with the most widely-used gully gratings that will be installed above the Ridgichute.

“The introduction of the Ridgichute is a great addition to our comprehensive range of surface water drainage solutions for road projects. The main benefit of a sumpless design is to eliminate the need for maintenance and cleaning activities on high-risk carriageways. This also removes the need for the carriageway to be closed, allowing traffic to remain free flowing,” explained Sean Norris, product manager at Polypipe.

“Unlike a traditional gully, any sediment will be carried down the piping system and collected by, for example, a Ridgistorms Separate chamber located off the carriageway, for safer maintenance activities to commence.”

Polypipe’s drainage systems have been used in numerous UK highway flood-prevention schemes, including major projects such as the A5 Highway Infrastructure Improvements in Leicestershire, and the £78m (US$100m) M27 motorway improvement scheme that was carried out by Costain on behalf of Highways England.

In both cases, surface water drainage for the busy highway was completed using Polypipe’s Ridgistorm-XL plastic piping, which is up to 94% lighter in weight than alternative concrete products. The Ridgistorm system is easier to handle and reduces the need for heavy plant machinery, enabling several project benefits such as reduced installation time and cost.

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Tom has edited Traffic Technology International (TTi) magazine and its Traffic Technology Today website since May 2014. During his time at the title, he has interviewed some of the top transportation chiefs at public agencies around the world as well as CEOs of leading multinationals and ground-breaking start-ups. Tom's earlier career saw him working on some the UK's leading consumer magazine titles. He has a law degree from the London School of Economics (LSE).