Resurfacing roads is ‘like painting the Forth Bridge’

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Highways crews in East Sussex have resurfaced roads equivalent to an area of more than 75 football pitches in the past year, new figures reveal.

East Sussex County Council’s highways department has completed a total length of around 50 miles of road – equivalent to the entire southern coast of the county from Peacehaven to Camber.

The figures released by the authority for the financial year from April 2012, show 550,000 sq m of road have been resurfaced, roughly the same area as 76 UEFA standard football pitches. But Roger Williams, the authority’s head of highways, said keeping the county’s roads in good shape was a ceaseless task.

He said, “It’s a bit like painting the Forth Bridge because as soon as you’ve resurfaced a stretch of road, it begins to deteriorate again due to the number of vehicles which travel along it.”

The council uses specially-equipped lorries to carry out mechanical surveys of the county’s 2,000 miles of road, using the data collected, along with reports from members of the public, to prioritise highways in most urgent need of repair.

Mr Williams said, “The mechanical surveys, along with the information people provide us with, helps us to build up a picture of the state of our roads and the ones which are most in need of repair are dealt with first.”

Resurfacing schemes carried out include the Hailsham bypass, a stretch of the A259 at Friston and East Dean, Milfoil Drive, Grange Road and The Avenue.