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Hampshire Highways starts surface dressing programme

Hampshire’s Highways teams will be starting the annual programme of surface treatments in May to ensure that as far as possible, works are completed while traffic levels are relatively low, getting roads treated ahead of travel restrictions being lifted.

The programme will begin by treating 128 miles of Hampshire’s rural routes targeting areas where re-sealing road surfaces or improving skid resistance have been identified as priorities.  Targeting more rural sites helps to ensure social distancing from residents can be maintained, while at the same time keeping major routes open and journey times minimal for key workers travelling to work and people making essential journeys for food shopping, health or care purposes.

Councillor Rob Humby, Executive Member for Economy, Transport and Environment at Hampshire County Council, said: “Our highways teams will be working to extend the life of the road network, ensuring value for money and reduced demand for non-renewable materials by using the most appropriate treatment for each site. 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.”

During the Coronavirus 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.

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. The process can create some loose material immediately after completion but this is removed by sweeper and the road is usually swept again after two weeks. Surface dressing cannot happen if the road is wet as the moisture will reduce the bond between the chippings and bitumen.

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