Hole-buster can make 60 re­pairs a day

Rossendale Free Press - - News -

ROADS chiefs say they hope driv­ers will start to no­tice an im­prove­ment in our roads with a new pothole-bust­ing tech­nique pa­trolling the Val­ley.

High speed spray in­jec­tion patch­ing ma­chines are be­ing used to fill the pot­holes left by a win­ter of wet and cold weather.

Ear­lier this year, a pe­ti­tion gained hun­dreds of sig­na­tures call­ing for resur­fac­ing of Rossendale’s ‘worst since the ad­vent of tar­mac’ roads.

The ma­chines can make 60 re­pairs daily, boost­ing Lan­cashire County Coun­cil’s (LCC) ca­pac­ity to tackle pot­holes.

The coun­cil’s mo­bile, two-man pothole re­pair teams will con­tinue to fix in­di­vid­ual de­fects re­ported by high­way in­spec­tors and the pub­lic, while the spray in­jec­tion ma­chines are used to ‘find and fix’ pot­holes on ru­ral roads. As well as fix­ing the deeper pot­holes, they are also able to re­pair mi­nor ar­eas of dam­age to pre­vent them ap­pear­ing in the first place.

Coun An­drew Snow­den, LCC’s lead mem­ber for high­ways, said: “We are de­ter­mined to ad­dress the prob­lems of pot­holes and other road de­fects, which are such a concern for peo­ple.

“We’ve got an ex­ten­sive pro­gramme of main­te­nance planned for the com­ing months and, with the help of tech­nol­ogy such as the spray in­jec­tion ma­chines, I’m sure peo­ple will be­gin to see the dif­fer­ence in the con­di­tion of our roads very soon.

“The al­ter­nat­ing spells of wet fol­lowed by cold weather we’ve had over the win­ter have cre­ated the perfect con­di­tions for pot­holes.

“Our high­way teams have been work­ing in all weath­ers to fix them, but it has been hard go­ing at times as the wet and icy con­di­tions have made it very dif­fi­cult to make last­ing re­pairs.”

He added: “As the warmer weather ar­rives and our an­nual pro­gramme of resur­fac­ing begins I hope peo­ple will re­ally see the dif­fer­ence as we get on top of the re­pair back­log and deal with the win­ter dam­age.”

The ma­chines work by us­ing com­pressed air to re­move all dust, de­bris and water from the af­fected area, be­fore a cold bi­tu­men emul­sion is used to seal the de­fect.

An ag­gre­gate mix is then fired in at high speed, with an­other coat­ing of bi­tu­men emul­sion to pre­vent water from get­ting in.

LCC has bud­geted £23m for roads main­te­nance in 2018/19, with around £10m of this set aside for fix­ing pot­holes and for mi­nor re­pairs. They will re­ceive a fur­ther £2.4m from the gov­ern­ment.

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●● The pot­hole ma­chine in ac­tion

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