Dorset Highways surface dressing programme is underway, with rural roads across the county scheduled for treatment.
A dedicated team of 20 people, one spray tanker, two purpose built chipping spreaders, six lorries feeding chippings, one roller and two suction road sweepers, is making its way across the county council area.
The gang will be ‘dressing’ C and D class (rural) roads – sealing them from water to prolong their life by up to ten years, and restoring skid resistance – with around 70 sites scheduled for treatment in this year’s £2m programme of work.
Andrew Martin, Dorset County Council head of highways said: “Surface dressing is an essential part of our annual programme of work – it keeps an already structurally strong road in a strong condition for longer.
“It complements our patching and resurfacing programmes, which together keep our roads in as good a condition as possible with the budget we have available.”
On average it takes between half a day and a day to treat one site, depending on the size of the section of road.
Hot bitumen (the glue) it sprayed by a tanker onto the road, which is followed immediately by a spread of 10mm chippings, followed by a spread of 6mm chippings (to fill any gaps) and finally a roller travels across the surface to compact the material down.
Due to the amount and size of equipment being used – and the narrowness of the roads being treated – the road will be closed during the work. Drivers will be able to use the road again as soon as the team has passed and vehicles can safely get through.
Cllr Peter Finney, Dorset County Council Cabinet member for environment, said: “Surface dressing is quick and vehicles can drive on the surface straight afterwards – please bear with us during these short road closures.
“I’d also like to ask drivers to adhere to the advisory 20mph signs that we leave in place – it’s to prevent skidding on the loose chippings, it helps ‘bed down’ the material and it will also save your paintwork.”
Loose chippings are swept up one or two days after the work, and a week after if needed. Sites are revisited after three months to check on the chippings and road condition.
More information can be found at www.dorsetforyou.com/surface-dressing You can see a video of the work in progress on the dorsetforyou YouTube channel, and images are available on the dorsetforyou Flickr account.