Surface dressing takes place during the summer months, when the weather is warm and dry. It involves spraying the existing road surface with a coating of hot bitumen and covering it with stone chippings. The chippings are rolled into the bitumen to form a water-resistant, protective layer, which makes the road less slippery and extends its life.
As soon as the bitumen has set, we will sweep the road to remove any loose chippings but the nature of the treatment means there will be loose chippings on the road surface until it beds down. Temporary warning signs will be visible to alert drivers, as vehicles using the new surface help to embed the excess material into the surface. After about a week we will return to the road to sweep up any chippings that have not embedded and road markings will be added, as appropriate.
Depending on the road width and nature of the site, this may involve a road closure with local diversions or traffic may be controlled with traffic lights or 'stop/go' boards.
This year we will surface dress the equivalent of 77 miles of road throughout the county. That is the distance from Canvey Island all the way round the M25 to Heathrow Airport.
The full schedule of where we will be working can be seen by clicking on the district tabs at the bottom of this page.
If you have a general question about this treatment, read the FAQs below.
How you can help
When you are driving on a newly surfaced road, you can help us by taking notice of road signs, especially the speed restrictions. This will prevent the new materials being damaged before they have completely set and also helps prevent your car from being damaged by loose chippings.
Please note: Surface dressing is weather dependant so dates within the programme may change during bad weather.