Somerset reveals roads to undergo improvements this summer

Nearly 150 roads across Somerset will be surface dressed this summer as Somerset Council and its new highways contractor embark on a lengthy programme of repairs. Road surface treatment specialists Kiely Bros. was awarded a four-year contract by the council effective from April 1 to carry out a range of highway services, including surface dressing.

The company, which is based in Birmingham, has been using its ‘multipatcher’ technology to carry out small-scale surface dressing work and repair other minor defects with minimal disruption to local traffic. The council has now published its full surface dressing programme for the summer months, which will see hundreds of miles of roads repaired in a cost-effective manner, says Safer Highways.

Surface dressing is a nationally recognised maintenance technique for sealing a road, improving skid resistance, and preventing water getting under the surface – thereby preventing potholes from forming. The technique works by coating an existing road surface with bitumen, covering it with stone chippings and then rolling it.

Because this can only be carried out in dry weather, the programme is flexible, with the dates for any given section being subject to change at short notice. Councillor Richard Wilkins, portfolio holder for transport and digital, has welcomed the programme which will see numerous rural roads upgraded – including a significant number within his Curry Rivel and Langport division.

Speaking in mid-May (before the general election was called), he said; “We are delighted to welcome the Kiely Bros team on board. Surface dressing and surface treatments are critically important in keeping our highways running efficiently and Kiely Bros have a fantastic record for innovation, efficiency and cost-effectiveness.”

While most of the surface dressing will focus on rural roads across the county, the 2024 programme includes a number of main roads which are used by residents or holidaymakers, and a number of sites near major housing developments.


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