A £1.1 million ‘retread’ programme – where the existing road is used as a base for a new one, has seen 18 kilometres of rural roads reconstructed in ‘an economical and environmentally friendly way’, according to Kent County Council.
The work started in May and ran to the end of July. Retread involves planing the old road surface and breaking it up, with the broken material levelled out to form the new road base.
A fresh bitumen emulsion is mixed into the broken material to bind it and the road mix is compacted and sealed to provide a new, levelled and pothole-free surface.
Kent County Coucil Cabinet Member for Highways and Transport Michael Payne said: “As this method recycles the existing road, with fresh stone brought in only if required, a significant reduction in costs, material and CO2 admissions is the end result. Retread is a cost effective and environmentally friendly treatment process compared to more traditional resurfacing methods.
“The cost is around £16 to 18 per square metre compared to traditional resurfacing which can range between £35 and £50 a square metre. Kent has one of the largest and most heavily trafficked road networks in the United Kingdom. It is also a very rural county and requires a careful balance of spending our limited resources between main roads and the rural network, which itself is vital to the economic life of many residents.
“Retread is the ideal engineering solution for the maintenance needs of our rural roads. It is economical and allows us to renew the roads that would never be affordable using traditional resurfacing methods.”