The Café Royal Hotel in London is a popular destination for a host of stars but, until recently, several had been seen to have their luxury cars damaged in Air Street as they were being dropped off.
As their drivers pulled in, their wheel trims or bumpers were being scraped along the kerb.
Ripping out the 45 metre stretch of kerb would have cost Westminster City Council tens of thousands of pounds and resulted in weeks of disruption.
Working with main contractors FM Conway and design consultants WSP, Diamond drilling and Concrete Sawing Company D-Drill put their new machine into action to save time and money.
The firm’s managing director Julie White recently patented the D-Kerb – a machine that can cut granite kerbs to a 45 degree angle. It was originally devised to help with the creation of cycle paths and lanes however it proved to be the perfect solution for the high-profile scrapes outside the hotel.
It took just a day for the company’s engineers to perform the cut along the stretch of kerb and caused no disruption on the busy street – allowing the Café Royals clientele to come and go without any problem, as well as allowing other retail outlets to continue trading as normal.
Once the cut had been made, the D-Drill team used a special vapour blasting machine (http://www.ecovapourclean.co.uk) to give the kerbs an authentic, textured edge to ensure the aesthetics were maintained with the rest of the street. The firm also provided a gradual transitional cut from 45 degrees to 90 degrees at each end of cut.
Julie White, who oversaw the project, said: “We are absolutely delighted that the D-Kerb proved to be the right solution.
“Had the council decided to rip out the existing kerb and replace it, it would have cost much more, it would have caused much more disruption and they would have taken a least 18 weeks to be delivered.
“Doing it this way meant we could go in for a day, cause no issues with traffic or pedestrians and get the whole thing done. By using the vapour blasting machine – that we brought in from the USA especially – we could give it a textured finished by using equipment that causes very few vibrations and is therefore better from a health & safety point of view than other machines in its field.
“We were told that the rich and famous kept scraping their vehicles on the kerbs and while we were there we saw one or two celebrities stopping off.
“Thankfully, the problem is solved and everyone is delighted with the final finish – everyone except the local garages who were putting the scrapes right on all of the cars!”