Winter gritters called in to help overheated roads

Hampshire County Council Gritter
Hampshire County Council Gritter
The Fareham Road-Wych Lane junction. Picture by Google Maps

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Winter gritting machines have been drafted in to spread dust across the area’s roads amid a scorching hot spell.

Hampshire County Council has recommissioned and calibrated two winter gritters and has others on standby.

They have spread grit across a number of roads in the area to reduce the effects of the heat.

The roads affected are mainly those which have been surface dressed, the process where a bitumen solution is sprayed onto an existing road surface and covered in chippings.

The county council’s contractor is keeping an eye on roads which have been dressed in the last two 
years.

Councillor Sean Woodward, the councillor in charge of transport at Hampshire County Council, said: ‘While this hot weather is a welcome change from the usual English summer, it does have the potential to cause us some difficulties.

‘The county council and its maintenance contractor, Amey, are monitoring road surfaces and dusting those that cause concern with crushed aggregate.

‘Most of the roads in Hampshire are surfaced in bitumen-based materials.

‘Although durable, in very hot weather, the road surface temperature can reach more than 45 degrees centigrade and this can, on occasions, cause the bitumen to soften and rise to the surface.

‘So far during this hot spell, this has not been a significant problem, and where we have had concerns we have spread crushed aggregate to reduce the effects of the heat and resolve the problem.

‘We will continue to monitor the highways and take action where necessary.’

Cllr Woodward says the problem is not widespread and has so far affected less than 12 roads across the county.

Hampshire County Council maintains 5,200 miles of roads.

The dust used soaks up the soft bitumen and stabilises the surface of the road.

Any motorists who come across a part of road where bitumen is on the surface, should call the council on 0845 603 5633.