A SUMMER of floods and heavy rainfall left Staffordshire’s roads eroded and damaged with some scheduled work possibly delayed until Spring 2013.
Although council engineers are said to be “pulling out all the stops” to get back on track, the window of opportunity for some seasonal work has now passed.
County council highways leader, Mike Maryon, said: “The sheer deluge of water that fell across Staffordshire has made it impossible to complete planned essential work, such as surface dressings of roads, which helps extend their lifespan.
“Although we have been working extremely hard to catch up on the projects affected, unfortunately some are only best done in the summer months,” he said. “In parts of the county roads were actually washed away and even now we are hearing about banks and surfaces which have been eroded and need repairing.”
He said it was impossible to fight the weather and while the impact of rain had temporarily stalled the £50million highways improvement programme, it would not stop the work to bring the counties roads back up to scratch.
“It just means we have to catch up,” he said. “And for a short period divert resources to repair this damage.”
As well as halting planned work, the weather caused road safety hazards, with detritus running off fields into highways, impacted on surface dressing work - both planned and outcomes - which require warm temperatures to bind surfaces, saw an increase in potholes where excess water washed out weak areas, an erosion to rural paths and roads and debris flushed onto roads and networks overwhelmed with rainwater.
Councillor Maryon said: “The scale of the task left by the flooding has been enormous.” he said. “Unfortunately there is no magic wand to deal with nature, which means some seasonal work may not be able to be completed until next Spring.”