Restoring road surfaces

Surface dressing schedule

View the road surface dressing schedule [PDF].

Surface dressing

'Surface dressing' is a low cost way of restoring road surfaces. It involves spraying a coating of bitumen (a tar-like substance) onto the road surface followed by one or more layers of hard stone chippings. As the bitumen sets, the chippings stick to the road surface and are further embedded by rolling in.

In Nottinghamshire, approximately 600,000 square metres of road are surface dressed each year between May and September, when weather conditions are best. It takes two or three days for the dressing to settle down and vehicles running carefully on the surface help it to compact.

Advantages of surface dressing

  • provides a good resistance to skidding on smooth or slippery roads
  • prevents water from seeping into the road foundation and weakening it, reducing the chances of potholes developing and delaying the need for complete rebuilding of a road
  • up to ten times cheaper than other methods of restoring road surfaces
  • traffic can be allowed to run on the new surface almost immediately, avoiding lengthy closures and disruption
  • speed with which it can be laid reduces delays to traffic.

Disadvantages of surface dressing

  • drivers need to travel very slowly on the newly laid surface to prevent chippings being dislodged
  • inconsiderate drivers travelling above the recommended speed cause chippings to be thrown up which can damage other vehicles and property.

What we will do

  • give advance notice of works to residents and drivers wherever possible
  • provide advisory and warning signs from the time we start work to the time when the road is ready for normal use
  • sweep the road and footpaths to remove loose chippings
  • ensure that the work is carried out to a high standard
  • minimise hazards and disruption to traffic through correct use of traffic control
  • ensure that any complaints are investigated and appropriate action taken.

What you can do

  • ensure that your vehicle is not left on the road which is to be treated
  • try to avoid inviting visitors or arranging deliveries when work is to take place
  • keep to the recommended speed limit on recently treated roads
  • never overtake on a newly treated surface.

Micro asphalting programme

Micro asphalting carriageway resurfacing programme [PDF] for Nottinghamshire from 26 February to 7 April.

The micro asphalting programme is a slightly different treatment type to that of surface dressing.

It is a suitable treatment for estates roads and provides similar benefits to that of surface dressing in that this also re-seals the road, provides a good textured regulated surface and restores skid resistance.

The treatment may require some minor structural patching and is applied in 2 layers, 1 regulatory course and 1 surface course.

It is applied using a purpose built machine and following the application of this surface treatment the road is allowed to cure before allowing vehicular traffic to use it.

The road is swept following the works and any ironwork is adjusted after the treatment along with the replacement of line markings at junctions and other locations along the road.

Find out more

For more information about surface dressing call our Customer Service Centre.

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