DCSIMG

Road improvements ‘miles ahead of schedule’

Councillor Ian Swithenbank with jet patcher operator Stephen Waterstone filling in a pothole. Picture Jane Coltman

Councillor Ian Swithenbank with jet patcher operator Stephen Waterstone filling in a pothole. Picture Jane Coltman

A scheme to improve Northumberland’s road surfaces has proved so productive, work is already starting on projects planned for next year, the county council has said.

Around 34 miles of Northumberland’s roads were initially targeted for improvement in the authority’s annual surface dressing programme, back in May.

The surface dressing works, covering approximately 300,000 square metres of carriageway, were due to be complete in August as part of the council’s programme of highways Improvements.

However, due to improved productivity and the recent spell of good weather, staff have delivered the planned work in just eight weeks, at a lower cost than planned.

Now the council is to use this remaining time and money to bring forward 11 more schemes originally earmarked for next year.

The work will cover a further ten miles of rural roads, mainly in the north and west of the county.

Coun Ian Swithenbank, policy member for streetcare and the environment said: “This is excellent news for everyone who uses our road network.

“We’re committed to doing everything we can to provide quality repairs in the most cost effective way but improvements to equipment and productivity have exceeded our expectations.

“This has meant we can get a head start on improving roads which may otherwise have had to wait until next year.”

Surface dressing is only used where the existing road surface has been worn over a period of several years. Usually there are minor surface cracks, allowing water to enter and cause damage which would reduce the skidding resistance of the road surface.

Surface dressing seals the cracks, protecting the underlying construction, and restores the surface texture and skidding resistance of the road.

The ideal time to surface dress is when the road may appear in good condition, which ensures a sound surface to accept the dressing, and when road surface temperatures are higher to ensure the chippings are retained.

 

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