Essex County Council has surface dressed and ‘safeguarded for the future’ 3.2 million square metres of its roads over the summer.
It said the figure is the highest ever completed over a summer, despite a wet June but helpd by a new machine that allows teams to surface dress the entire width of a road in one pass, where previously it would only surface one lane at a time.
Councillor Johnson (centre) and council workers
Cllr Eddie Johnson, cabinet member for highways and transport, said: ‘This is an amazing amount of roads improved and safeguarded for the future.
‘Surface dressing work is all about preventative maintenance, vital to keep our road network in good condition and to prevent potholes developing in the future.
’The team has worked hard to meet a challenging county-wide schedule, aided by our investment in a new wider machine which allows us to work twice as fast by surfacing both lanes in one go. This means roads remain closed for a matter of hours rather than days, helping to keep Essex moving and avoiding the need for diversions.
‘We understand the chippings can take a few days to bed in but surface dressing leaves a long-lasting and skid-resistant surface which will last for years to come.’
Surface dressing is a widely-used road surfacing technique in which a coat of sticky bitumen binder is applied to a road before stone chippings are rolled on top.
The road is then immediately reopened under a short-term speed limit which allows the surface to bed in over a few days.
The council said its new Etnyre chipper spreading machine machine is one of only a handful in the country. It has extendable arms which have the capability to spread aggregate across a carriageway of up to a width of 6.1 metres.
Essex was marked as (middle) Band 2 under last year’s highways maintenance self-assessment process.