Hole-buster can make 60 repairs a day
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