Hampshire’s first dragon patcher arrives at start of new highways contract

Hampshire County Council and Skanska today (Tuesday 18 July 2017) unveiled some of the new ‘Hampshire Highways’ fleet which will be deployed to look after Hampshire’s roads over the next seven years.

Jul 18 2017

july18hampshirehighwayslaunch

Councillor Rob Humby, Executive Member for Environment and Transport at Hampshire County Council, said: “This new contract provides us with an opportunity to work in a truly collaborative and innovative way as the demand on our road network increases. Good roads are critical to Hampshire’s future economic prospects and the quality of life of all who live and work here. With around 96% of all journeys made on foot, or by cycle, bus or car, it is vital we continue to provide long-lasting, quality maintenance work that is good value for money - and I am confident  Hampshire Highways will  deliver this.”

The new contract, which officially starts on 1 August, covers highways maintenance work on Hampshire’s  9,600 miles of  roads and footways, including resurfacing, winter salting, drainage and road repairs. There is an option to extend the contract for up to a further five years, subject to factors such as contract performance.

Simon White, Skanska Operations Director said: “We are delighted to have been awarded the contract and look forward to building on the relationships that we have developed during the mobilisation with Hampshire County Council. We have invested in new fleet and equipment to deliver this service, and we will use innovative and cost-effective solutions to help maintain and improve the roads across the county.”

Skanska’s innovative pothole patching machine, the ‘dragon patcher’, is part of the fleet that will work on the Hampshire road network to complete surface repairs to reduce the number of potholes . The patcher is five times faster than traditional methods, saves money and is safer because it is operated from the vehicle’s cabin.

It is nicknamed the ‘dragon’ because it expels flames to de-ice and dry out the road surface. It is then cleaned with compressed air and sealed with a stone mix and hot bitumen emulsion. With the surface repair completed in just two minutes, the patcher can move on to the next repair.

Last year, the pothole patching machine won the Highways Industry Project of the Year category, at the Highways Magazine Excellence Awards.