Countywide road maintenance programme gets underway

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A £4million countywide road maintenance programme has got underway in West Sussex.

West Sussex County Council has begun work on its annual series of surface dressing schemes.

Surface dressing involves spraying a coating of bitumen on to the road, followed by one or more layers of hard stone chippings.

More than 150 roads throughout the county are scheduled to be resurfaced in this way over the next three months.

West Sussex County Council’s head of highways and transport, Geoff Lowry, said: “Surface dressing is carried out every year.

“It is done to seal the road and cover over repairs carried out following winter weather damage.

“It helps protects against future weather damage too and is a very cost effective way of protecting and prolonging the life of our roads.”

Surface dressing is quick, easy, and traffic can be allowed to run on the new surface almost immediately – avoiding lengthy closures and disruption.

Sealing the road in this way prevents water getting into the foundations and weakening the road, which can lead to potholes developing.

Other benefits include an increase in skid resistance which helps improve road safety.

Soon after a surface dressing is applied, the road is swept to remove loose chippings.

Where possible the County Council will give advance notice of the roadworks to residents to make sure their vehicles are not left on roads that are about to be treated.

Signs will also be put up advising drivers to drive slowly on recently treated roads.

Geoff added: “We want to remind motorists they need to observe the signs and drive slowly over a road that has been treated with surface dressing.

“This is because of the loose chippings which can flick up and damage other vehicles on the road.

“The surface dressing programme is essential and we ask motorists to be patient while this work is going on.”