The Roads Section has commenced their Summer Programme. Their aim is to resurface 10% of the Island’s main roads during the good weather. For the next few months there will be up to eight different teams working on the Roads around the island, with up to three teams carrying out major patching and surfacing work.
Work has begun on roads in the Longwood area, Half Way and Blue Hill. Dave Malpas, Roads Manager explained, “Basically the plan is that we are going to clean the road, repair any major problems with the existing surface and put a new layer over the whole road as a finished surface.”
The Roads section has been trialling a mixture of aggregate and colas to create asphalt. Dave commented how he felt about the results, “The trails that we have been doing is a new process called slurry sealing. The process we have been working on at the moment is called surface dressing which is a traditional process. The slurry seal - I won’t be happy with the results fully until we have had it down for 12 months and we’ve thrown the entire year at it but what I have seen so far yes I am happy that it is going to work in the future.”
He clarified what the main roads are on the island, “The main roads are predominately roads with the highest traffic flow and strategic roads... such as the road from Jamestown to Longwood is obviously an important road. They are actually defined by one of my predecessors when the project was developed and it had been agreed with the European Union who are funding the project. We are starting on roads in Longwood out by Ropery Field, White Wall to Half Way and also in Blue Hill.” Work in Blue Hill, Casons and French’s Gut area will be predominantly major patching with surfacing to take place in the future. All the other schemes will be resurfacing with surface dressing, after any necessary patching to the base layers.
Before chief roads such as Ladder Hill can be worked on, key diversion roads, such as Gordon’s Post and Constitution Hill need to be improved.
During these works there will inevitably be disruption to travel. The Road Section have said that they will try to minimise the use of road closures, however some roads are simply too narrow to work with traffic going past. Other roads may have traffic signals or other traffic management arrangements in place. “We are programming the work carefully so we don’t have too much work on in one time. We are also using traffic signals for the first time ever which we hope will allow us to work without having to close roads and to keep traffic flowing smoothly past,” Dave stated, “There will be some teething problems with that and I hope the public will bear with us whilst we get that under control. We’re just trying to work without road closures basically and where we have to use road closures, we will try and use them for the shortest time possible.” On Wednesday 14 November, the first set of traffic lights were erected at Half Way. This means that only one side of the road will allow cars to pass, whilst the Roads section work on the other side. The traffic lights are set to a 70 second time.
View traffic light video here.