Essex Roads - Record 2016 Improvements

A record-breaking 3.2 million square metres of road surfacing has been completed on Essex roads this summer – that is the equivalent area of more than 12,000 tennis courts.

The impressive feat – which trumps last year’s previous record figure for Essex of three million square metres – came despite a wet June which set back early road surfacing efforts.

The programme of work finished on schedule this week (September 2016). The road surfacing figure – which involved a road surfacing technique called ‘surface dressing’ – is the highest ever completed over a summer in Essex.

The works have been helped by the new Etnyre chipper spreading machine which allows teams to surface dress the entire width of a road in one pass, where previously it was only possible to surface one lane at a time.

Cllr Eddie Johnson, Essex County Council Cabinet Member for Highways and Transport, said: “This is an amazing amount of roads improved and safeguarded for the future.

“Surface dressing work is all about preventative maintenance, vital to keep our road network in good condition and to prevent potholes developing in the future.

“The team has worked hard to meet a challenging county-wide schedule, aided by our investment in a new wider machine which allows us to work twice as fast by surfacing both lanes in one go.

“This means roads remain closed for a matter of hours rather than days, helping to keep Essex moving and avoiding the need for diversions.

“We understand the chippings can take a few days to bed in but surface dressing leaves a long-lasting and skid-resistant surface which will last for years to come.” 

Surface dressing is a widely-used road surfacing technique in which a coat of sticky bitumen binder is applied to a road before stone chippings are rolled on top.

The road is then immediately reopened under a short-term speed limit which allows the surface to bed in over the coming days.