Drain Contract – Rebar Removed from Drain Beneath Busy UK Motorway

Robotic Rebar Removal Avoids Excavating Clay Drain Rebar prior to removal Rebar being cut by remote cutter Close up rebar removal cutter Morning cleaning information

Bespoke rebar removal system proves successful in storm drain

Costain, a major UK construction firm was struggling to remove two high tensile rebars from within a 675mm spun galvanised steel storm drain located underneath one of the UK’s busiest motorways. The company had recently attended a Tube Tech presentation to the construction industry and were certain that an innovative and effective solution would be presented by these world leading industrial cleaning specialists.


  • The Highways Agency had to approve Tube Tech’s proposed rebar removal system plus evaluate Tube Tech’s safety standards, business practices, reputation etc.
  • Approval was given and Costain’s were given a three week window to remove the rebars.
  • The two rebars were causing debris to build up within a storm drain located under the hard shoulder of the M27, a busy motorway on the south coast of England.
  • Tube Tech fulfilled the strict safety requirements of the Highways Agency which included confined space training for Tube Tech personnel and also met the contract requirement of completion within two day shifts.


  • The client originally thought the slow lane of the motorway would have to be closed and the contract completed at night.
  • Tube Tech techniques meant the work could be carried out without the slow lane closure thus providing a major cost saving to the client.
  • With limited access and large pipe diameters Tube Tech developed a system with the capability to both access and then remove the rebars.
  • The first rebar was 18m from a manhole and the second was 88m upstream from the first.
  • To travel the distance and perform the cutting operation a bespoke cutting system that was mobile yet strong enough to hold itself in place whilst performing the cut was developed.
  • The bespoke cutting system proved extremely successful with each cut completed within 20 minutes of gaining access to the pipe and both rebars being completely removed within one day shift.
  • Tube Tech resolved the problem and opened up the possibilities of using robots to perform cutting applications further removing the need for man entry on the larger pipe diameters in excess of 1m.

Tube Tech Comment

Martin Byford, Operations Director: “This contract once again highlights Tube Tech’s ability to solve seemingly impossible challenges for a varied client base. We were pleased to develop a bespoke rebar removal system for our client and look forward to working with other construction and utility companies to solve rebar removal problems in the future.”

For more information or to discuss your cleaning challenge call us on +44 1268 786999 or e-mail info@tubetech.com, alternatively click here to fill out our contact form.

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