Road repairs continue during lockdown
Road maintenance has been ruled as a necessity during the current lockdown due to Coronavirus COVID 19 and Essex Highways has been playing its part.
Crews have been out every day to mend potholes and repair other defects including mending streetlamps, traffic signals, white lines and signs. All this has been done while ensuring engineers follow the current self-distancing rules. Urgent response crews have been working at night and weekends.
Crews will soon be starting the resurfacing and redressing work to hundreds of miles of the county’s road network and preparing carriageways for next winter.
Traffic has dramatically decreased since the outbreak of the virus and this has allowed Essex Highways teams to work with little interruption.
Essex Highways is using this time to work because without continued maintenance the condition of the roads would quickly deteriorate. Clearly, roads must be kept safe and open where that is practical.
Councillor Kevin Bentley, Deputy Leader of Essex County Council and Cabinet Member for Infrastructure, said: “I have to balance two responsibilities - we have to keep the roads safe for those who have to use them, but we cannot ask our teams to take undue risks themselves.
“Staff must keep their distance and are provided with every possible extra safety precaution. We often need to work with specialist suppliers, for materials and equipment, and some of them have their own current difficulties obtaining supplies.
“But please bear with us, we will keep working. Sometimes the lighter traffic gives us new chances to work during the day where we would normally only be able to work at night.”
Councillor Bentley added: “We sometimes have to explain to local residents when working outside their homes that we do keep our distance and the work is vital. That’s why I have provided staff with new signs on site explaining that what is taking place.”
As an example, in one day last week crews repaired 44 potholes. It is hoped that much of the planned summer road resurfacing work will be completed.
Essex Highways still needs your help so please carry on reporting potholes or other problems online at www.essex.gov.uk/highways