Footway resurfacing - video transcript

[Caption] Footway resurfacing - A Kent County Council video guide

Neil Tree, a resurfacing team leader, explains how we maintain Kent's footways.

Neil: "Kent County Council looks after over 6,000 kilometres of footway and we inspect these footways visually. The data is collected and used to assess the condition of the entire footway network. We use this data together with reports from councillors, parish councils and community groups to establish how we can best use our available budget and what techniques we can use to repair renew and protect our footways.

A prioritised annual maintenance program is then developed and implemented. To achieve maximum value for money, we identify which sections of pavement can receive protection surface treatment and those that have deteriorated to a point where the surface needs to be removed and replaced. We use a protection treatment when the footway begins to show signs of wear-and-tear, but is generally structurally sound.

To protect these footways, rather than digging them up we can apply a new surface known as a slurry seal and therefore extend its life. The slurry seal surface is a preventative treatment that effectively prevents deterioration and stops the footway from reaching a point where a more expensive reconstruction scheme would be required.

Slurry seal is a cold mixed asphalt that consists of graded aggregate, binder, fines and additives. These are mixed together and then applied to the footway. It is quick to apply meaning less disruption to the pedestrians, residents and local businesses and also because it is cold-applied it has a low carbon footprint.

Firstly, a couple of weeks before the treatment, the footway is weed sprayed. This is followed, just prior to the application of the new surface, by a power wash and this ensures the surface is clean and free of weeds, dust and debris. On the day, curbs and entrances to properties are taped to ensure uniform lines on the new layer is achieved and any highway drains and manhole covers are adjusted to the correct height ready for the new surface.

The new surface is then applied. The material sets very quickly, usually within an hour, and once we have finished all the tape is removed and the footway is reopened for pedestrians. Protection treatments have been applied successfully across Kent and offer very good value for money. Allowing our funding to go further to ensure every pound of the taxpayers money is spent wisely.

Without this treatment the number of footways we'd be able to treat in Kent would be limited. Where we do find the footway is deteriorated beyond the surface treatment we do have to remove the surface and some underlying layers. This is more time-consuming and expensive.

The excavation depending on the site can be done in a variety of mechanical methods and depths. When the required depth has been removed the surface is rolled to ensure a firm compacted base. Depending on the design, we then replace the footway layer-by-layer, compacting each as the footway is rebuilt. As there will be lots of works vehicles and machinery being used the works area will be guarded off whilst the works are underway. Pedestrians will either be directed to an alternative path or have a temporary walkway provided to pass the work safely.

In some instances we may also replace some sections of curbing, edges or both as part of the works and depending on the type of road we may be able to offer the opportunity for residents to have a drop curb constructed or an existing one widened. This work will incur an additional cost above our intended construction. Therefore we'll have to charge the balance to the householder with an administration charge.

However this cost does represent a significant saving from having the work carried out yourself under the usual process. We will deliver an information leaflet to each property and business on the route of the works before we are due to start giving full details of our intentions.

Obviously reconstructing the footway does take considerably longer to complete than the protection treatment and residents and businesses near the works will experience some disruption but we will try to keep this to a minimum.

Access to properties may need to be restricted for short periods while work is carried out if you have any particular access needs please let the workforce on site know.

[Caption] Keep up to date with what's happening on Kent's roads. Follow @KentHighways on Twitter.