North East Lincolnshire Council

Road surface treatment

Apply for road surface treatment by completing our online form for Road surface treatment.

There are two treatment processes that are generally used in North East Lincolnshire: surface dressing and micro-asphalt. To find out more about the processes and how the Council deals with road surface works read the frequently asked questions in the expandable menu below.

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Yes – All property frontages along a road which is programmed for surface dressing receive a leaflet regarding the procedure. This provides both details of the process, and advice to residents.

You can help by :

  • Removing parked vehicles by the time requested
  • Complying with all traffic control systems, eg. speed restrictions
  • Driving slowly over newly completed areas of work
  • Take particular care and avoid walking on areas of freshly treated surface whilst it is still “wet”

To help reduce the inconvenience to a minimum, the Council aims to :

  • Avoid works at peak times on main roads, on main roads within two days of a major event and/or adjacent to schools or shops at peak periods
  • Give you at least 24 hours written notice of works in a residential street
  • Erect signs at the entrance and exit of all streets to be treated, to advise of the date of works
  • Use appropriate materials on all sites to minimise loss of chippings
  • Sweep all other roads within 48 hours of opening to traffic
  • Reinstate all important road markings (eg. junction markings) within 48 hours
  • Reinstate all other road markings within seven days of the road being swept
  • Sweep all roads again approximately one week after the work is completed

Surface dressing gives an additional 5 to 10 years of life to the carriageway. In comparison, planning and resurfacing would cost approximately £20.00 a square metre and give 10 to 15 years of life back to the road. A full reconstruction of the road would cost (for the road alone, ie not including kerbs channels or footways) approximately £40.00 a square metre and hopefully give 15+ years of life. As a recognised carriageway treatment, surface dressing provides exceptionally good value for money for North East Lincolnshire Council.

The micro-asphalt process, is a cold applied treatment using specialist plant and equipment to mix and lay the material (quality graded aggregates, bitumen binder, filler and additives) in two-layers. The first application regulates the existing surface, filling depressions and rutting, and a surface coat is then applied. Additional material may be required in the regulating course to ensure the overall minimum design thickness is obtained. The amount of regulating material used will depend on the condition of the existing road surface. Typically the finished micro-asphalt surface appears a lot darker than surface dressing, and does not have excess loose chippings as surface dressing does.

Micro-asphalt seals and protects the underlying construction of a road. However it is more costly (approx. 1.5 times more) than surface dressing. It is only used where the existing surface is not suitable for surface dressing, such as locations where there are extensive patching requirements, rutting, or locations with failed repairs or extensive utilities work. Alternatively, micro asphalt may be used where surface dressing has been assessed as unsuitable for the site, such as some narrow streets and cul-de-sac’s in urban areas.

The ideal time to apply micro asphalt is when the road may appear in good condition which ensures a sound surface to accept the treatment, and when weather conditions are generally dryer, between May and September.

Surface dressing is a method of sealing cracks in the carriageway and renewing the skid resistance to worn roads which are still structurally sound. The treatment does not eradicate irregularities in the existing road surface. Patching work is undertaken prior to the commencement of surface dressing to repair any significant depressions in the carriageway surface. Consequently, the new dressing will always “mirror” the undulations of the existing road surface. The new surfacing is normally left for 2 to 3 days before it is swept. This is because the bitumen binder that is used in the process, needs time to set and stiffen before a mechanical sweeper is applied to it. Otherwise, the newly laid surface treatment would be damaged. If necessary, the contractor’s sweeper will undertake further visits to site to remove any excess chippings.

Surface Dressing FAQs (PDF)

Surface treatment processes are only used where the existing road surface has been worn over a period of several years. Usually there are minor surface cracks, which would allow water to enter and damage the integrity of the road construction and/or a loss of texture which would reduce the skidding resistance of the road surface.

Surface dressing seals the cracks, thus protecting the underlying construction and restores the surface texture and skidding resistance of the road. The ideal time to surface dress is when the road may appear in good condition which ensures a sound surface to accept the dressing, and when road surface temperatures are higher, between May and September, to ensure the chippings are retained.

The ideal time to surface dress is when the road may appear in good condition which ensures a sound surface to accept the dressing, and when road surface temperatures are higher, between May and September, to ensure the chippings are retained.

Highways and Transport, New Oxford House, 2 George Street, Grimsby, North East Lincolnshire, DN31 1HB

Telephone: 01472 326300