Annual surface dressing programme begins

Work is underway to repair rural and residential roads as part Dorset Council’s annual programme of surface dressing.

Surface dressing prolongs the life of roads by providing a waterproof seal, while also improving skid resistance. It forms a vital part of Dorset Highways’ annual road maintenance programme, alongside patching, micro-surfacing, in-situ recycling, road preservation and resurfacing.

This year, around 446,000m² of road will be restored with surface dressing.

Cllr Ray Bryan, Portfolio Holder for Highways, Travel and Environment, said: “It’s been proven that early, preventative maintenance is the most cost-effective way to maintain roads, and surface dressing is an important part of the road treatment cycle.

“Our targeted maintenance approach – to carry out repairs specific to the damage evidenced in the individual road – ensures we can carry out maintenance on more roads compared to solely using resurfacing. This also reduces emissions by using less raw material and creating less waste.”

A rolling programme of surface dressing work started on 25 April and will last around three months.

The work is carried out under a road closure, with on-street parking suspended to allow the work to take place.

It is a quick process, with bitumen binder sprayed onto the road to seal it against water damage and stone chippings spread onto this to restore grip, with these compacted down with a roller.

Drivers can travel on the road as soon as the work is finished, with slow moving vehicles helping to further embed the stone chippings.

A sweeper travels along the road within 48 hours to clear any immediate surplus stone, with line markings reinstated shortly afterwards.

Surface dressing relies on the evaporation of water from the bitumen binder (glue) for it to set, so can only be carried out in dry weather.

As the work is highly weather dependent, residents are being asked to look out for yellow advance warning signs in their area which will provide the most accurate information.

Working times will be between the hours of 5am and 6pm. Work cannot take place at night due to the necessary evaporation process and will not be carried out over the weekend or on Bank Holidays.

The full list of roads set to be treated, along with more information about what to expect, can be found online.

The first two weeks of sites programmed for surface dressing are:

Week starting Monday 25 April

Road Past Parsonage Farm, Dewlish

White Hill Lane, Tolpuddle

Knighton Heath Barn Lane, West Stafford

Redbridge Lane, Crossways

Water Meadow Lane, Wool

Higher Came Farm Lane, Dorchester

Coombe Valley Road, Weymouth

Church Lane, Osmington

Bridlebank Way, Weymouth

Week starting Tuesday 3 May

Bridlebank Way, Weymouth

Westhaven, Weymouth

Russell Avenue Weymouth

St. Leonards Road, Weymouth

Newberry Road, Weymouth

Williams Avenue, Weymouth

Fairview Road, Weymouth

Walker Crescent, Weymouth

Park Estate Road, Portland

This year, £16m is being invested in road maintenance in the Dorset Council area.

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