We’ve brought forward and completed a number of road projects during the coronavirus lockdown. A number of schemes were begun months ahead of schedule to capitalise on low traffic levels and to minimise disruption to road users. This places us in a strong position to continue with the annual programme of works to maintain, refurbish and improve the strategic road network for all users.
Here are just some of the project we’ve undertaken over lockdown:
We’ve collaborated closely with the 22 local authorities in Wales to successfully deliver routine and emergency maintenance works throughout lockdown. The routine maintenance programme is undertaken each Spring and includes activities such as- grass cutting, weed treatment, gully-emptying, drainage cleaning, structural maintenance and inspection.
These works are ongoing and are vital to keep the roads in good working order, protect the safety of drivers and reduce the risk of unplanned closures at a later date. By deploying revised methods of working and with additional resources allocated to satisfy social distancing rules, this work has been able to continue safely and on schedule. In some areas, there has even been a higher output of annual maintenance works than usual.
An estimated 80% of the surface treatment programme has already been completed over 23 sites in North & Mid Wales which equates to approximately 475,000m2 of carriageway being overlaid with cold-applied ultra-thin surfacing (CAUTS). This material seals the road surface thus minimising deterioration and the development of defects to ensure a safe running surface for all road users.
Over 300,000 m2 of targeted resurfacing work has also been completed on the strategic road network in South Wales since the beginning of April. In addition, approximately 25% of the surface treatment programme in this area has also been finished. The remainder of this work is currently on track to be completed to schedule and will amount to a total of approx. 621,000m2 of carriageway being treated.
A number of schemes which would have usually taken place after the summer embargo were brought forward to be completed on schedule and with minimal disruption to road users since the beginning of lockdown. Notable projects included; four phases of essential resurfacing on the A55 between Ewloe and Northop Hall, the resurfacing of an 11km section of the M48 near Newport, and resurfacing works at key locations on the A483 & A489 near Llandrindod Wells in mid Wales.
In the face of the pandemic and the challenge of maintaining social distancing, teams working on NMWTRA & SWTRA schemes have devised new and innovative ways to keep workers safe as they help keep the country moving. These range from Traffic Officers working in dual vehicle convoy to the installation of information boards and the adoption of aerial survey techniques linked to artificial intelligence software.
As we welcome more people onto our roads and programmed works continue, we’ll be working closely with Welsh Government to monitor traffic levels in order to ensure that measures can be put in place quickly to minimise disruption to road users as traffic increases.
We’re working hard to keep the country moving and to connect everyone to the people and places they love.