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Road resurfacing programme

Information about which roads we plan to treat over the summer, why we surface treat our roads and why we use different treatments.


Following a review of road service provision and in line with government guidance, we will be working on a limited number of projects where it is safe to do so including:

  • road resurfacing and specialist surface schemes
  • gully cleansing and maintenance
  • street lighting maintenance
  • bridges and structures.

There will be delays in responding to non-emergency and non-essential works. All activity will be undertaken with staff working to social distancing guidance.

Critical and emergency works including emergency repairs, road traffic accidents and emergency road defects will continue.

Why do we surface treat roads?

  • Use: all roads, like most other things, wear out with use and need periodic maintenance/repair
  • If water gets under the surface it can cause damage to the road, either by washing away materials or by expansion when water freezes in cold weather, creating cracks, pot holes and pavement damage
  • Age and Weather: Asphalt the main road material becomes brittle and cracks with age and sealing the surface is a simple way of extending the life of the road surface 
  • Minimal disruption to road users: the road can be opened once the dressing has set, typically 30 minutes to 2 hours 
  • The environmental impact is much lower than replacing the road surface
  • Other reasons include utility trenches and underlying ground conditions 

What is surface treating?

Surface treating is where a surface treatment is laid on top of the existing road surface. It consists of a water-based bitumen and stones. It restores grip and texture, as well as, creating a waterproof surface to prevent water damage. 

We us two methods:

Surface dressing

This is the main method of surface treating as it is ideal for roads with heavier traffic. The existing road surface is sprayed with a bitumen emulsion into which we press stones.  To provide the best possible surface we use two different sizes of stone in County Durham.  Firstly we use 10mm stones and then a second layer of 6mm stones to fill any small gaps.

Micro asphalt surfacing 

Micro asphalt surfacing or 'micro' or 'thin surfacing' is laid on top of the existing surface by a special machine. It can help to take out minor dips and bumps in the road. This is mainly suitable for estate roads or roads with lower traffic levels. 

How do we choose which treatment to use?

The condition of the existing road surface and the traffic volumes which use it are used to decide which treatment is most appropriate.

Why do we limit speeds after treating? 

The dressing takes a while to fully 'bed-in' and during this time traffic using the road can dislodge stones in the new surface if speeds are not controlled.  To ensure the quality of our road surfaces it is really important that drivers slow down for a few days after the dressing takes place.

Why do we sometimes not work as planned?

The processes used to dress roads are sensitive to weather conditions and we sometimes can't work as planned if the conditions are not right.  We will notify local residents when works are about to start and update this page regularly with any changes to our programme. 



Contact us
Customer Services
03000 26 0000
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