Scottish Water use XtremeMat Haul Road at Isle of Iona

The Location:

Isle of Iona, Inner Hebrides

The Requirement:

We received an enquiry from civil engineering company, MacAulay Askernish, who were delivering a project on Iona on behalf of Scottish Water.

150 tonnes of material, including heavy concrete and aggregate, needed moving to facilitate the repair of an underground water storage tank.

A temporary haul road was required, one that would allow the haulage trucks to safely traverse over the winding hillsides and through the rugged landscape.

The solution needed to be strong and reliable to withstand the heavy loads, but also sensitivity was a primary concern as well.

Iona is designated a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) and so the civil engineering company were strictly forbidden to break or damage the ground during the repair works.

It was crucial that the haul road would not cause any lasting damage to the ground below, either before, during or after the project.

The Solution:

In consultation with the GroundGuards’ team, we were able to advise on the most appropriate solution to this specific project: XtremeMat.

Strong, tough, and built for use in the harshest environments, XtremeMat measures a whopping 4 x 2 metres so they can cover a lot of ground quickly.

Designed with a hard foam inner core, the mats are buoyant over soft terrain, which was ideal to help the roadway span across the more boggy sections of ground.

Iona is one of the more remote locations that we’ve supplied in recent years – not a problem for our team though – we delivered the mats to Glasgow and arranged for them to be shipped onto Iona. A ferry transported them from Oban to the Isle of Mull, where they were then driven along a single-tracked road to the ferry terminal that would take them onto Iona.

The Outcome:

XtremeMat is a very user-friendly product. Upon first sight, MacAulay Askernish were very comfortable laying out and installing the mats themselves. The project manager told us afterwards that they didn’t even need to read the instructions! They were able to just get on with the job quickly and efficiently, which saved a lot of time and effort.

All in all, 115 XtremeMats were used for this job, which lasted for six weeks.

A safe, smart temporary haul road was built just as required, which enabled all the heavy concrete and aggregate to be moved to its new destination.

The mats left no damage to the ground or surrounding terrain and so the civil engineers were delighted to be able to adhere to the SSSI rules.

Locally, the big yellow haul road became affectionately known as ‘The Ski Slope’ because it was the fastest, slickest route down the hillside.