Nearly 300 residential roads countywide including St Albans will get a makeover using a method known as micro surfacing. It 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 widespread potholes. The treatment is quick to apply and adds years to the life of the road.
Rob Smith, Deputy Director of Environment, said: “This programme will help improve many of our local roads, particularly those that carry low or moderate levels of traffic.
"We know improving road condition is very important to local residents and road users and this work will improve the surface of these roads and help head off potholes before they form. The new surface will last for years and, because it can be applied quickly, we’re able to improve the condition of more roads countywide.
“This programme of micro surfacing is just one example of our commitment to improving Hertfordshire’s road network.”
The process 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.
See Microsurfacing in Action
The surface is safe 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 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.
This programme of micro surfacing is part of a £4m maintenance scheme to extend the life of 360,000m2 of Hertfordshire’s busier roads.