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Essex Highways apologises to road-users for problems with surface dressing work on A134 and A131

10 May 2019

Essex Highways is apologising to drivers and local residents who have been inconvenienced by recent surface dressing work on the A134 and A131.

We are urgently investigating what went wrong with this particular operation, and our initial findings suggest in the slightly colder weather the bitumen “binder” coat may have set too quickly to allow the stones to bed in.

Part of the problem may be related to the chippings that were used in these operations, so we are undertaking extensive testing before any remedial work is completed.

Councillor Kevin Bentley, Essex County Council Cabinet Member for Infrastructure, said: “I’m very sorry about it, we have done hundreds of miles of surface dressing to very good effect, but in these few places just recently on the A131 and A134 it has not worked properly, leaving the “tracks” in the road that drivers have been commenting on.

“I will make sure it is quickly re-done and not at the taxpayer’s expense. We will continue to sweep these roads to remove stones as best we can as they work loose."

“I would ask drivers to please stick to the speed limit of 20mph on the signs because if you do so the problems are much reduced.”

“On top of these issues, there has also been some problems raised with dust from the surface dressing on Lexden Road, Colchester. We are monitoring the situation and would ask drivers to keep below 20mph and drive cautiously on brand new surface at all times.”

Surface dressing is an industry-standard surfacing technique used across the UK for many years.
In the last three full years, Essex County Council has carried out over 8 million square metres or over 600 miles of surface dressing in Essex without any significant issues.

Surface dressing improves the surface and prevents potholes forming for years to come. It is very quick and cost-effective where the condition of the road justifies its use.