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Eastgate MSCP renewed
Published:  17 July, 2014

Over the past two years a major refurbishment by Makers Construction of the 25-year-old car park at Eastgate in Basildon has improved the user experience and rectified problems affecting the structure. 

The 700-space car park which comprises eight suspended concrete car park decks with entry and exit ramps was showing signs of serious wear and tear with patches of spalling concrete littering the deck and soffits. 

Extensive testing was carried out to identify the cause of the concrete deterioration, and it was quickly established that there were higher than acceptable levels of chloride ions in the deck surface, which had been trafficked in from the roads, and caused corrosion. 

The top deck and covered levels 1 and 2 had been waterproofed with asphalt which had developed splits overtime, allowing water to leak into the concrete below and through construction joints. Although the in-house maintenance team had carried out patch repairs over the years, they hadn’t been able to stop the degradation and it was decided that more substantial repairs were needed. 

After Makers had completed the concrete repairs to the deck surfaces, columns and soffits, a Triflex cold, liquid applied waterproofing and surfacing system was used to refurbish the car park decks and spiral access ramps. 

The durable overlay – which has been used in some of the busiest car parks in the UK and across Europe – was chosen to ensure that the structure was not only waterproof but also protected against future chloride attack. Triflex car park solutions are also designed to have a low slip potential in both wet and dry conditions, providing a safe, slip resistant surface for both pedestrians and vehicles. 

“We have over 35 years’ experience in the car park waterproofing and surfacing sector, and with our proven track record in overlaying asphalt decks we were confident that alongside Makers we could provide the right solution for this project,” says Paul Barker, technical director at Triflex.

While improvements to the car park were undertaken it was vital that disruption to shoppers was kept to a minimum and that the car park remained operational throughout the works, so it was decided that the refurbishment would be completed in three phases. However, with access to the car park made strictly by the spiral entry and exit ramps, the resurfacing works to these areas had to be completed out of hours. Based on PMMA technology, Triflex products are rapid curing, even at temperatures as low as 0ºC, which meant the system could be installed overnight ready to be reopened to the public the following morning. 

As part of the overhaul, a new vehicle and pedestrian signage package was installed to improve aesthetics and wayfinding, and the parking bays were reconfigured to increase the width of the spaces, as Darren Wootton, operations director at Makers Construction, explains: “Given that modern cars tend to be larger than their predecessors, a decision was taken to increase the parking bay sizes. Overall, this meant a loss of parking spaces, but the customer experience was seen as critical in this upgrade process.” 

The refurbishment has also been designed with future maintenance and repair in mind: “The Triflex car decking system is designed for ease of maintenance and will prevent contaminates from entering the concrete deck surfaces,” says Wootton. “Makers operate a deep clean and inspection regime for our clients, which ensure the deck is cleaned and inspected at least annually. This is an ongoing process at all the refurbished car parks.”

The works were concluded on time and within the £1.5m budget set down by the client. The car park has been transformed and now provides a safe and pleasant environment for the centre’s shoppers.