Sheffield’s highway contractors have pledged to ramp up resurfacing to cover as much as a mile a day over the coming 12 months.
The £2 billion Streets Ahead programme to resurface every road and pavement, and replace streetlights, is progressing ‘on time and on budget’.
Work on the scheme started almost a year ago and it will take five years to complete. Contractor Amey will continue to maintain the network for the following 20 years.
Chris Morris, operations director for contractor Amey, said: “We have built up the workrate in our first year and have completed resurfacing of 75 miles of road and 110 miles of footpaths.
“Some 4,000 street lights have been replaced.
“In the second year we will be ramping up our output to 180 miles a year – with a peak output of one mile a day in the summer when daylight hours are longest.
“That compares to about 18 miles a year before the Streets Ahead contract.”
Amey will be resurfacing 70 per cent of Sheffield’s 1,180 miles of roads – the other 30 per cent has been upgraded in recent years so do not need major attention.
Work around the city has been divided into a series of 108 zones, and five have been completed so far – Bradfield, Carbrook, Effingham, Ewden and Shiregreen.
Work is continuing on 12 more and will start in two more areas – Gleadless Valley and Meadowhall – in September.
Ian Kirby, technical manager for Sheffield Council, said: “The project has been going better than I hoped and I am really pleased with the results.
“We appreciate there is disruption where work is being carried out but, unfortunately, we cannot get everyone to move out of Sheffield for a year while we carry out the work.”
Amey employs around 700 staff on the contract, 481 from the council’s old Streets Ahead service.
Of the new posts created, 28 are apprenticeships and 15 are graduate trainees.
Amey is also in charge of day-to-day highways maintenance – even down to street cleaning.
Mr Morris said: “We’re collecting 75 tonnes of litter a week – almost the weight of 10 double-decker buses.”
Roads transformed from some of UK’s worst to best
Sheffield Council cabinet member for finance Coun Bryan Lodge said: “It’s fantastic to see all the hard work coming to fruition.
“It’s great the project is rolling out to more and more areas and benefiting more people. The scale of the work is enormous but we’re working hard to minimise the disruption.”
Sheffield Hallam MP and Deputy PM Nick Clegg added: “I’m immensely proud that Sheffield’s roads are being transformed from some of the worst in the country to the best.
“Looking at the work for myself it’s clear to see the project will transform our streets. However, the project is also creating dozens of new local jobs which helps create a stronger economy.”