Internal review into ‘stripy’ road resurfacing in Colchester

Contractors tried to resurface Straight Road in Colchester but it rained heavily in between, meaning

Contractors tried to resurface Straight Road in Colchester but it rained heavily in between, meaning the loose chips didn't stick and it is unfinished. - Credit: Sarah Lucy brown

Questions are being asked of Essex Highways contractors after tonnes of loose chippings were put onto a Colchester road – despite rain having washed away the adhesive.

Contractors tried to resurface Straight Road in Colchester but it rained heavily in between, meaning

Contractors tried to resurface Straight Road in Colchester but it rained heavily in between, meaning the loose chips didn't stick and it is unfinished. - Credit: Sarah Lucy brown

Contractors laid bitumen along Straight Road on July 26, but the substance was cleared off the road by a heavy downpour before a second team laid thousands of small stones.

It meant instead of being pushed down and forming a new road surface when cars drove over them, the majority of chippings were flung to the side of the road – causing stripes to appear on the road surface and covering driveways in the stones.

Nearby residents felt they should speak up after finding out the road had been again added to the resurfacing schedule and contractors were due to return.

One man who lives off Straight Road, who asked not to be named, said: “Who foots the bill? I’m a local tax payer and I don’t want to pay however much it is to have to do the job twice.

“There are stripes and bald patches all the way up the road, you can see where the tyres have moved the chippings – they look dangerous as they are quite slick.”

Sue Lissimore, county councillor for the Drury division which covers the area, took County Hall’s highways maintenance cabinet member Eddie Johnson local MP Will Quince to see the road.

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Mrs Lissimore said: “The main issue is when the contractors could see it had failed, why did they not stop and assess, and not blindly carry on as if it was all OK? In my view they should not have carried on.

“I am having this discussion with senior highways officers at Essex County Council.

“I’m pleased Essex has seen there’s an error and are rectifying it, and Mr Johnson has apologised to residents.

“We have been waiting for about a year for two-thirds of the road to be resurfaced.

“Some residents questioned the process, but it has been used on many roads, and why contractors did not look at the forecast – but we do live in Britain.”

An Essex Highways spokesman added: “We are aware of issues with the resurfacing of Straight Road in Colchester.

“Our engineers will be visiting the site to resurface the road as soon as is practicable.”

The cost of resurfacing was not disclosed, with County Hall saying all projects come from the overall annual road maintenance budget included within the highways contract.

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