In the midst of the ongoing heatwave and searing temperatures, Fermanagh motorists have had to contend with melting tar on roads around the country.
It seems that the gritters are not just for winter, having been a regular site on the county’s roads during the prolonged cold snap a few months ago.
Few could have imagined that they would be required so soon again after all the snow and ice but for a very different reason this time.
Now they have been on standby to deal with the melting roads as a result of the high temperatures.
Roads absorb the heat, and when this happens at 30 degrees it can make the roads almost 20 degrees higher.
As a result, a change in the road structure happens which is similar to melting.
Road crews have been working flat out over recent days, applying grit at a number of affected locations.
In Fermanagh, approximately 40 mainly minor roads were affected and six gritters were deployed on a daily basis from Tuesday last, June 26 until Saturday, 30th June at various locations around the county and spread approximately 250 tonnes of grit.
Among the worst roads affected were those in the Arney and Coa areas along with others near the Cavan and Donegal borders.
The situation is being monitored by Transport NI and a Departmental spokesman told the Herald:
“Recent weather has led to a rise in road surface temperatures and with limited cooling at night, the bitumen in some roads has softened. The Department for Infrastructure has been spreading fine dust/grit on the worst affected roads and will continue to do so as necessary.”
Drivers are being advised to be careful of surfaces becoming slick and dangerous, particularly on minor roads.
“Road users should continue to exercise due care and attention at all times, take extra care when braking on melting surfaces and obey road signage,” the DfI spokesman added.
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