Councillor Rob Humby, Deputy Leader and Executive Member for Environment and Transport, said: “Looking after Hampshire’s network of over 5,500 miles of road is one of our top priorities. Our planned maintenance programme, Operation Resilience, is a long-term strategy designed to ensure Hampshire’s road network is more resilient to the impact of heavy traffic and weather. The programme sees an additional investment of £10 million each year using the most appropriate treatments to extend the life of road surfaces while at the same time getting the best value for money for Hampshire’s council taxpayers.
“Surface dressing is a highly effective treatment that extends the life of road surfaces, with around 400 sites across Hampshire being treated annually. This type of treatment 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. It’s rather like using paint to protect an exterior fence.”
Surface dressing is the application of fresh stone onto a layer of wet bitumen which creates some loose material immediately after completion, essential to the success of the dressing. The embedment and bonding of the loose stones is started off by rubber rollers and continued by normal traffic moving slowly over the fresh new surface. Any remaining loose chippings are routinely swept up. Surface dressing cannot happen if the road is wet as the moisture will reduce the bond between the chippings and bitumen.
Councillor Humby added: “I would like to reassure local residents that we do all we can to minimise disruption to traffic during these essential works but ask that people please bear with us whilst this happens.”
Hampshire County Council is planning improvements on the A31 Bentley Bypass and the A331 Blackwater Valley Road during June 2019 which will require a number of night time road closures. The purpose of the work is to undertake some minor repairs prior to installing a surface treatment called a carriageway asphalt preservation, on the Hampshire section of the road. This treatment helps increase the durability of the road surface by extending its life and delaying more costly and disruptive replacement works.
Where surface dressing is being carried out, road closures will usually be in place from 9.30am to 4pm, with a few exceptions. Timetables will be flexible, as the process is very weather dependant, but local signage will be updated as much as possible to keep people informed.
Hampshire residents can find out more about roadworks taking place in Hampshire at: www.roadworks.org
Hampshire residents are encouraged to report potholes and road defects direct to the County Council at: www.hants.gov.uk/transport/roadmaintenance/roadproblems.