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Surface dressing programme

What is surface dressing?

Surface dressing is a cost-effective way of restoring the road surface and sealing it in one process. Surface dressing also:

  • improves skidding resistance which makes the roads safer
  • helps to make a road waterproof
  • protects the road against frost and water damage

We surface dress roads between April and September, this is because the process needs warm, dry weather to allow the dressing to be established.

Why is my road being resurfaced using surface dressing?

Roads are assessed for treatment by local highway engineers. The road adjacent to where you live is being treated to improve the existing road surface, while at the same time restoring surface texture and sealing the road to prevent further deterioration due to water ingress.

A well designed surface dressing can prolong the life of a road by up to 10 years.

Will I be notified of the work?

The surface dressing contractor will post letters/leaflets to each household or business typically three days in advance of work commencing. Notices will be placed throughout the site to be surface dressed one week in advance of work commencing.

Please be aware that the surface dressing process is weather dependent and that it cannot take place in the event of rain.  It is recognised that certain locations are more sensitive than others and these sites are highlighted to our contractor as requiring additional consultation.

Can I park my car and access my property?

To assist in the completion of the work please do not park on the road or verge within the work site. This will help to ensure that the work is not delayed.

During the course of the work it is highly likely that vehicular access to properties will be restricted. We would ask that you please be patient and plan as may be appropriate. Disruption will be kept to a minimum and access will be given to emergency vehicles at all times.

Pedestrian access will be maintained whenever possible and at all times where there is a footway.

What is the process?

Before the surface dressing is applied, the road will have been brought to an acceptable standard for treatment.

Immediately before the surface dressing treatment the road will be cleaned and all of the ironwork (covers, gullies etc) will be ‘masked’ to protect them from the dressing materials.  Once the surface dressing has been applied, the ironwork will be uncovered.

The surface dressing treatment consists of spraying the road with a thin film of hot bitumen, applying stone chippings and lightly rolling the chippings. The new surface can generally be driven on immediately after completion of the surface dressing

Following the completion of the works there will be some chipping loss. Warning signs and an advisory speed limit will be put in place and roads will be swept as required to remove loose material. Traffic movement assists with the embedment of the newly laid material.

Up to a few weeks after the surface dressing has been laid the road markings are replaced, to allow for a final sweep and sufficient embedment to have occurred. This work again is weather dependant. Also, the warning signs are removed once it is appropriate to do so.

Finally, the completed work is jointly inspected by a representative of Devon County Council and the contractor.

What can I expect during the work?

Work generally occurs between the hours of 7am and 7pm but we do ask that our contractor is sympathetic towards residents. Work may also occur over the weekend where necessary.

Parked cars cause problems for the workforce and affect the overall quality of the work. Please arrange to park away from the work site while the work is ongoing. Please keep pets indoors during the work.

Do not walk or drive on wet bitumen, this can mark your property or vehicle. Wet bitumen will stick to your shoes and can be transferred to other surfaces. The work involves heavy machinery. Please do not let children play near to the machinery whether or not work is in progress.

During warm weather there is a possibility that the newly laid material may remain tactile for a short period. Please avoid walking on the newly laid material. Do not drive or walk on the newly laid material until works are completed and the site has been cleared by the contractor.

If you need assistance, please speak with the workmen on site.

Who can I contact with enquiries?

If you have any concerns or queries during the work, please ask for help from one of the operatives on site. Alternatively, you can make contact prior to the work taking place using the contact number provided on the advanced signing or letter drop.