Summer of resurfacing after winter of disrepair

18/07/2023
Chris Ames

Gloucestershire County Council has launched a ‘summer of resurfacing’ using ‘innovative methods’ as it starts the lengthy process of restoring a historic road bridge.

The highway authority said many of its almost 6,000km of roads have been adversely affected by some of the coldest and wettest winter weather for over 100 years.

It said its £100m resurfacing programme, supported by extra funding from central government, means it can expand annual resurfacing plans and fast track repairs.

More than 170 roads are set to be resurfaced across the county this year, supported by a programme of ‘new and innovative’ methods of repairs.

The council has also set up a dedicated programme to accelerate some areas of operational work, backed by additional spending of £1.27m in 2023-24, and is allowing teams to make more use ‘flexible and innovative approaches’.

These include ‘Find and fix’ – the council has eight new teams finding and fixing smaller potholes before they get worse. The council said its new 'find and fix' teams made thousands of repairs during their first weeks on the job.

Cllr Morris (right) and local highways manager Max Kelly with a spray injection patcher

A spray injection patcher can fix up to 100 potholes in a day, supported by extra patching gangs relaying larger areas, the council said.

It added that with cold and wet weather conditions making road repairs more difficult, it is trialling new techniques with new cold materials so they will be more resistant to bad weather.

Dom Morris, cabinet member responsible for highways and flooding, said: ‘The Highways Transformation Programme is implementing changes to the way we deliver services, including introducing find and fix gangs to fix potholes earlier, spray injection patching which can fill up to 100 potholes in a day, and trialling innovative new materials to speed up repairs and help them last longer in bad weather.

‘Since April we’ve filled over 12,000 potholes and this summer we will be making more improvements to the roads than ever before.’

Separately the council said it would hold a public meeting in Lechlade on Thursday (20 July) to update residents on the repair work to Halfpenny Bridge (pictured).

A vehicle collided with the historic bridge last month, causing significant damage to the wall. A road closure has been put in place on the A361 but the crossing remains open to pedestrians and cyclists.

The bridge has now undergone a comprehensive inspection by structural engineers, which will inform the repair work. The council will now complete a detailed design for the repair.

However, as the bridge is a listed structure and Scheduled Ancient Monument the repair will need to be sensitive to the structure. Designs will need to be submitted to Historic England and the secretary of state for approval.

Engagement with Historic England and the secretary of state has already started, the council said.

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