Councillor Rob Humby, Deputy Leader of Hampshire County Council and Executive Member for Economy, Transport and Environment, said: “Our highways teams have used the time well over the past four months, carrying out maintenance work across the county to extend the life of the road network, and changing schedules so that planned work near schools and businesses was completed when there was less traffic on the roads, thereby keeping disruption to a minimum. Our teams have also been working closely with utility companies to reschedule works that could otherwise have caused significant disruption during busier times."
The surface programme began by treating 128 miles of Hampshire’s rural routes, targeting areas where re-sealing road surfaces or improving skid resistance has been identified as a priority. Targeting more rural sites has helped to ensure safe social distancing from residents can be maintained, while at the same time keeping major routes open for people making essential journeys to work, for food shopping, health or care purposes.
Councillor Humby explained: “Surface dressing is designed to protect the road surface from water damage and maintain skid resistance, keeping the road in good condition for as long as possible and preventing potholes from forming.”
The dressing treatment involves the application of new stone onto a layer of hot bitumen to create a new surface for vehicles to drive on. Surface dressing is weather dependant and cannot happen if the road is wet as the moisture will reduce the bond between the chippings and bitumen. This year’s programme is scheduled to be completed by the end of September.
During the Covid-19 emergency all highways maintenance work on Hampshire’s roads is carried out in line with the Construction Leadership Council’s Site Operation Procedures, which is based on Public Health England guidance.