County Councillor Sue Lissimore and Borough Councillors Dennis Willetts and Lewis Barber met with the Senior Highways Engineer responsible for the resurfacing of Lexden Road.

He explained the process used by their contractor:

  • Surface dressing is used on roads where the top surface is in need of renovation, but the sub-surface structurally sound.
  • If substantial wear or damage affects the substructure, then the more expensive black tarmac finish is used.
  • Surface dressing extends the life of the road by around 7-10 years. 
  • Defects are filled and cracks sealed to ensure water doesn’t open them up again when it freezes. 
  • Once defects are sealed, a layer of bitumen is put down, granite chippings are added on top then rolled in. 
  • Vehicles can be allowed immediately back on the new surface and continue to embed the stones. 
  • Regular sweeping of the gutters and drains gets rid of excess stones which are inspected and, if clean, can be used again.

However, as local residents know all too well, clouds of dust were subsequently thrown into the air by vehicles moving at more than 20mph over the new road surface. The contractor has sent senior representatives to investigate what has gone wrong. In ten years of using the type of resurfacing, this has only happened once before. But interestingly, the same problems have also occurred in Circular Road South which was resurfaced at the beginning of this week.

The most likely reasons for the dust problem is either that the dry winter has caused excess dust to accumulate on the granite chippings while stored at the contractor's depot, or that that an excessive volume of granite chippings were added to the road surface such that it did not properly embed into the road surface.

Please be assured that a full investigation is taking place. There may be patches that need repairing or the Engineers may find that the surface needs to be relaid.

We will keep residents informed of all issues. Extra street sweeps will continue. The gullies have been emptied of any debris and are all now clear. We have been assured that there are no toxins in the dust, which is pure fine granite with no chemical additives.

Any concerns please contact:

Cllr Sue Lissimore

Colchester Borough Councillor for Prettygate ward.

Essex County Councillor for Drury division. 

Tel 07540 328316

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Friday 3rd May 2019