A £2.15million scheme to improve East Riding roads and help protect them against potholes has now been completed.
Despite a challenging, hot summer for the highways maintenance team, work was carried out at 170 sites across the area as part of East Riding of Yorkshire Council’s annual surface dressing programme.
During the four-month scheme around 15,000 tonnes of stone chippings have been laid on 660,000 square metres of road – the equivalent of 70 miles of continuous road.
And the highways team is already preparing for next year’s programme by carrying out patching work on damaged sections of road which are due for surface dressing next year.
Surface dressing is carried out by the council every year, between May and August, to repair and maintain surfaces to help prolong the life of the road.
The process involves spraying hot, sticky bitumen on to the road surface, spreading chippings on top and then using a roller to press them into the road.
This helps to reduce the risk of potholes forming by sealing the road against water damage, and also improves skid resistance for vehicles.
This year’s extreme weather has proved a challenge for the highways maintenance team.
Last winter’s freezing temperatures and the ‘Beast from the East’ caused many more potholes to form in the area’s roads.
So far this year, from 1 January to 31 July, the council has repaired more than 31,000 potholes and highway defects across the East Riding’s 2,200 miles of road network.
And this summer’s heatwave has made conditions difficult for the surface dressing campaign, with the temperatures threatening to affect the setting of the road surface and affect working conditions for the team.
But to avoid the hottest parts of the day, the team began work much earlier – sometimes starting as early as 4am – to get the job done.
Sand also had to be laid on top of the road surface, on occasions, to prevent the bitumen bubbling up in the heat and ruining the surface dressing.
Councillor John Barrett, portfolio holder for operational services, said:
“Our highways maintenance team has done a superb job this summer, going above and beyond to repair and protect our roads.
“This has been a difficult year for our workforce as they had to contend with the Beast from the East and then the hottest summer on record, but they have completed the full surface dressing programme as planned and to a high standard.
“We can never prevent every pothole, and this year has been particularly bad because of the winter weather, but thanks to the hard work and planning of our highways team, more roads are being protected against potholes every year.”
This year’s surface dressing programme has been funded through the council’s planned highways maintenance allocation, as well as contributions from the Government’s Pothole Action Fund, the Safer Roads Fund and funding secured through the York, North Yorkshire and East Riding Local Enterprise Partnership’s Local Growth Fund from the Department for Transport to improve the condition of ‘A’ roads in the East Riding.