Baking roads in the Melton area are being given a special treatment by highways workers to protect them from melting during one of the hottest summers in living memory.
Since the beginning of this month, the council’s gritters have spread around 150 tonnes of granite – the weight of 25 African bush elephants – over roads which are deemed at risk.
Highway teams have dusted more than 25 locations across the county, a process which involves applying tiny stones, which are up to four millimetres in size, onto the road surface.
It is the first time for a number of years the highway teams have had to carry out dusting using modified gritters.
Treated roads in the Melton borough are Church Street and Thorpe Side at Scalford, Stonepen Lane and Landyke Lane at Holwell and also Main Street in Knossington.
Councillor Blake Pain, cabinet member for environment and transport, said: “Temperatures have soared and we have been keen to minimise any potential disruption to our roads.
“Our officers are constantly monitoring the road surface temperatures, particularly those in exposed areas or those that have been resurfaced.
“If the temperature continues to rise, when necessary, our gritters will put down a dusting of fine granite to reduce the risk of melted roads.”
When the road temperature reaches above 40C the bitumen in the road begins to soften and rises through to the road’s surface.
By dusting the surface, the stone binds to the bitumen and restores the skidding resistance and hides the discoloration caused by the bitumen on the road surface.