Hundreds of Hertfordshire roads get a makeover

Published: 19 Jun 2018

Hertfordshire County Council is giving hundreds of the county’s most weather-worn residential roads a new lease of life. 135 residential roads countywide have already had a makeover this spring using a method known as micro surfacing and 66 more will follow over the summer.

Microsurfacing involves spreading a thin layer of new road surface to seal the road from the elements, even out bumps and dips and restore grip. By sealing any cracks, it can prevent the formation of potholes. The treatment is quick to apply and adds years to the life of the road.

Watch our video to see how micro surfacing is done:

Phil Bibby, Cabinet Member for Highways, said: “We know that the state of the county’s roads really matters to our residents, and this programme will improve road surfaces and help head off potholes before they form.

“We’re investing nearly £40m in maintaining and improving our highways network this year and while we can’t do everything, this microsurfacing, along with other resurfacing work and the regular repairs we do, will make a real difference to roads across the county.”

Microsurfacing works by spreading a liquid mixture of stones and bitumen in a thin layer directly onto the existing road surface to form a type of hard-wearing asphalt. It differs from ‘surface dressing’ which involves spreading and pressing granite chippings in to a layer of hot bitumen using heavy roller machinery. With micro surfacing the mixture is laid cold by a special machine, which saves energy and is better for the environment.

The surface is ready to drive on after a couple of hours, but it will take a few weeks to bed in and dry out fully. At first the road may look quite rough and untidy with loose stones so drivers should watch their speed while the new surface settles. Once it has dried out we return to sweep up, raise ironwork, such as manhole covers, to the new road level, and re-paint road markings.