Highways chiefs are pinning their hopes of tackling problems with the surface of busy Stanningley Bypass rising during heat waves on a funding bid to central Government.
During recent hot summers parts of the A647 bypass have started to buckle and create mini ‘humps‘, which has lead to emergency road closures and repair works.
Damage has been caused by concrete slabs, which form the foundation of the road, expanding due to high temperatures and buckling at the joints. The same expansion and contraction also damages the road at all of the joints, requiring constant remedial works to keep the road surface free from pot holes or ridges.
Highways chiefs have now written to local councillors detailing their aims to make the bypass safer to use by submitting a funding bid to the Department for Transport to solve the problems once and for all. The letter, shared on social media by Pudsey councillor Simon Seary, reads:
“It is anticipated that with the probable increase in air temperatures due to climate change, the likelihood and therefore problem of sudden failures will become more frequent and degradation of the joints more rapid.
“The long-term risks of leaving the road untreated is an increase in accident numbers and potentially likely severity. This would have to be mitigated by a reduction in road speed limit during the summer months and more frequent localised repairs.
“Our plan is to replace the existing ceased expansion joints that are designed to move with any change in temperatures, to ensure that this movement can once again be accommodated. We will also complete the work by resurfacing the road with an asphalt material more tolerant of movement and cracking.
“The plan is to replace the joints through weekend working, phased over two years. This will inevitably cause disruption to traffic, but this approach is considered to be less disruptive than other possible options that would require the reconstruction of the road, leaving either carriageway closed for months on end.”
Highways chiefs also intend to phase the work with the alterations to Dawson Corner Junction to minimise the disruption caused if constructed separately.
Leeds City Council is in the process of finalising its bid to the Department for Transport through the Major Road Networks Fund to make Stanningley bypass fit for purpose.