The country has been at standstill over the last few weeks due to the strict lockdown rules. However, in order to avoid the nation’s bridges, roads and buildings falling into disrepair, essential maintenance work is still being allowed to be carried out.
Indeed, structural strengthening companies all over the UK will have been kept busy performing repairs on commuter routes, taking advantage of the opportunity to do so while the roads are empty as most people are working from home.
Salisbury City Council is one local authority that is continuing its maintenance work, fixing a central barrier on the A36 Southampton Road.
The road was closed for two nights to allow workmen to mend the carriageway, central reservation, gullies and verges, which were also cleaned during the process. Debris from previous car accidents had to be removed manually before mechanical sweepers could clean it up.
It is thought the project was so successful, the council is planning to conduct similar repairs on the A36 City Ring Road, as well as planned lighting and bridge works.
Speaking with Salisbury Journal, council leader Jeremy Nettle said: “The difference the repairs and cleaning have made to this important entry route into Salisbury have made is brilliant. I am looking forward to seeing the results with my own eyes once the Covid-19 restrictions are lifted.”
Similarly, Shropshire Council has been busy mending more than 2,000 potholes on its roads while motorists remain at home.
At the end of last month, there were 5,259 potholes in the county. However, Border Counties Advertiser reported this has now been reduced to under 3,000, thanks to thermal patching, texpatching, jet patching and two-person pothole work.
Non-safety critical highway jobs have been suspended to avoid too many workers having to interact with each other and potentially exposing themselves to coronavirus other employees might have without knowing.
However, essential maintenance work is still going ahead, as “the impact on the public is significantly reduced by undertaking work during this period”, Shropshire Council’s cabinet member for highways and transport Steve Davenport stated.
He told the news provider: “We’re prioritising essential repairs, such as potholes and pavement defects, to ensure that the county’s roads remain safe and serviceable.”
Mr Davenport went on to say: “Work is continuing to take place on the network, and we’re ensuring that council staff and contractors are following the social distancing guidelines.”
The county suffered a lot of flooding problems over the winter months resulting in thousands of potholes, which can cause dangerous accidents and damage to cars. Therefore, it is imperative the council sorts this problem out while it can.
Workers on site during lockdown have to adhere to advice by the government. This includes washing their hands regularly in soap and water, remaining two metres away from other staff members, keeping teams as small as possible, avoiding touching their face, and reducing contact with colleagues to less than 15 minutes. Anyone who exhibits symptoms, or lives with someone who does, needs to self-isolate and not come into work.