NEW game-changing technology is on the way to help fill potholes in the Stroud district.

Gloucestershire County Council is to pilot a new way of producing asphalt, allowing highway gangs to work more flexibly with almost no wastage of materials at all.

The mobile asphalt production unit has arrived in the county and will soon be trialled on roads as repair work continues.

“This is big news for Gloucestershire,” said cllr Vernon Smith, cabinet member for highways.

“Using these machines means we won’t have to reply on asphalt depots being open to get our supply of material so we’ll be able to do more work at night time which is good news because it means less disruption to traffic during the day.”

Stroud News and Journal:

Cllr Vernon Smith and a hot asphalt machine 

Road maintenance crews have traditionally collected asphalt from depots before heading out to roads that need surfacing.

This, however, takes up valuable time from the day’s schedule and leads to wasted asphalt because depots usually require a minimum order and it is difficult to judge the exact quantity needed for a job before working at the location.

The new mobile unit that has been developed can mix aggregates and bitumen - the key ingredients of asphalt - in situ.

This means that highway crews don’t have to head to a depot for a supply of asphalt each time it is needed.

It means much greater productivity because crews are able to work on a higher number of jobs in a single day.

It also means that only the correct amount of asphalt is prepared, to an optimum hot temperature, guaranteeing minimal wastage of materials and the best chances of a successful new road surface.

The machines can produce between one and three tonnes of asphalt every hour and can be towed behind a standard seven and a half tonne vehicle.

In Hampshire a mobile asphalt production unit is already routinely being used for road repairs as part of a highways maintenance service operated by Amey, which also partners GCC.