How many men does it take to change a manhole cover?

Have you ever heard the one about labourers and manhole covers? It involves a lot of high vis jackets and a cost that’s millions of pounds higher than it should be.

A recent study by the Water Research Centre (WRc) says that replacing one manhole cover costs up to £1,000 before adding social impacts, traffic disruptions, human and economic impact and suggests that changing manhole covers is costing us millions more than it should do every year.

So, how many men and how much money does it take to change a manhole cover? Let’s start with the initial labourers needed to do the work.

Then, because many failed manhole covers are on a busy road because they are unable to withstand the stresses of a high intensity highway, we need to make sure that our labourers are safe from the perils of traffic. That’s up to £800 a day with additional costs for the admin. So, add a few more men in high visibility vests, an admin person or two and a pile of money into our wheelbarrow.

The WRc report suggests that traffic hold ups on roadworks can cost as much as £33.83 per hour every vehicle is delayed. On a busy road that can be up to 1,735 vehicles per hour. This means there’s now a swarm of disgruntled motorists, frustrated economists, labourers, admin staff plus a lot of workmen and cost.

Turns out, this isn’t a massively funny joke, but with the Wrekin Unite, the scene of men, women and agitated commuters around a tiny motorway manhole cover happens a lot less. Wrekin Unite, is tested to be genuinely ‘fit for purpose’ so the cover is able to withstand the stresses of a high intensity highway, which means in the long run it takes a lot less time, men and money when replacing a manhole cover using Wrekin Unite.