The annual summer programme of road repairs and maintenance in Wirral is set to conclude next month.
By the time the work comes to an end, more than £4 million will have been spent this year on a programme of resurfacing, repairs and other improvements to roads and footways across the borough.
Around 120 locations were listed for works on the roads programme, with priority given to those in the most urgent need of attention as identified by independent condition surveys, inspections and suggestions from elected members and residents.
Cllr Liz Grey, Chair of the Environment, Climate Emergency and Transport Committee, said, “I am proud that Wirral’s roads are generally in a good condition. Having a well-maintained and safe network of roads and pavements is important to all users – cyclists and pedestrians, as well as drivers – and as a council our performance is well-rated compared to other authorities.
“We take our duty to maintain Wirral’s highway network very seriously, but with more than 730 miles of road in the borough there is simply not enough time or funding to resurface all the roads that are reported to us; works have to be prioritised using a risk-based approach.
“Many of these works take place over the summer months because they are dependent on favourable weather conditions. It is encouraging to know that although there have been some inevitable delays as a result of bad weather, the programme has progressed well.”
The council’s contractors use a variety of materials and surfacing methods to repair roads and pavements, dependent on how the surface is constructed and the level of durability needed.
Hot Rolled Asphalt is the most durable of these processes and can last up to 20 years. This is the preferred choice of material for main and commercial routes that carry heavy traffic.
Surface Dressing is a preventative treatment that is used to extend the life of a surface by 10-20 years, depending on the location. The council also now applies an additional product – Lock Chip – on top of the dressing. This is an overspray developed to reduce chipping loss.
Micro Asphalt is used mostly on local roads and streets and is laid over the existing road surface to restore the profile of the surface. This lasts around 10 years, depending on how much traffic uses the road.
The council is continually and actively innovating and trialling new treatment products and approaches that deliver improved environmental as well as commercial benefits.
Work on most of the roads that were listed for surface dressing has now been completed. Nine streets listed on the original programme have had to be dropped due to delays or clashes with utility works. These locations will be investigated again to be considered for next year’s programme.
The remaining works on this year’s programme, including some of the larger Hot Rolled Asphalt resurfacing schemes, ironworks and drainage gulleys, are scheduled for completion by October.
In addition to the work carried out on the roads, around 80 footways across Wirral have also been repaired or reconstructed this summer.