As the fiscal space tightens and funding for road projects become more challenging, the Ministry of Transport, Works & Housing is looking at new technological advances in road construction to help cauterise the country’s ever increasing bad road condition. Traditionally, Asphalt Concrete and Double Surface Dressing (Tar and Chip) have been used as the final surface on roads. The ministry through the National Works Agency (NWA) has also employed other techniques in its road construction and rehabilitation effort, with Micro-surfacing being the main alternative.

Works Minister, Dr, the Hon. Omar Davies says that in tackling the bad road conditions more use will be made of the micro surfacing method in repairing roads, as it represents value for money. He made this disclosure following a tour of roads in Manchester and St. Elizabeth where the method has been used.

Continuing, the Minister explained that for the upcoming financial year, he will be looking to expand the use of the micro-surfacing method with a view to continuing the savings already realised. (Micro-surfacing costs 40% less than the traditional methods) He notes also that he will be having discussions with Minister of Science, Technology, Energy and Mining, Phillip Paulwell with a view to exploring the use of the PETCOM facility to produce the emulsion which is critical in the use of the micro surfacing method.

Micro - surfacing is a cold mixed Asphalt. It consists of graded stones and additives. It is a hard wearing surfacing for pavement preservation and rehabilitation.

With the micro-surfacing method, the life of the road is extended as the material is placed on the solid base of a particular corridor. The material acts as a sealant on cracks and other such fissures, making the actions of the elements more difficult to penetrate the surface.

The team which was led by Minister Davies and included Clement Watson, Head of the Road Maintenance Fund; Audrey Sewell, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry visited Williamsfield to Kirkvine in Manchester, Exton to Ridge in Junction, St. Elizabeth among others.