Northern Ireland

life needs minerals

Key Issues

Highway Maintenance & Construction

Our Roads Network in NI is valued at some £40 billion and is the largest and most valuable asset the public sector manages.

The Departments own statistics show that the current underspend for maintaining our roads network is almost £1 Billion. In 2010 the independent  “Snaith Report” recommended an annual structural maintenance funding level of £112 million to keep the road network at a safe and quality standard. That funding level now stands at £140 million.

The Department for Infrastructures own figures indicate that for every £1.00 we fail to invest below that figure it will cost the Department £1.26 in the long term as lack of maintenance turns into re-construction.

That Roads Network is the veins and arteries through which the life blood of our economy flows. Our private, public and commercial transport sectors depend on it to transport products, people and services safely and efficiently.

To view and download the Snaith Report

To access guidance on the application of asphalt click here.

As the surface for some 95 per cent of our roads – as well for playgrounds, footways, car and lorry parking areas, airport runways and much more – it is uniquely versatile.

The Highway Maintenance and Construction Sector in NI produces approximately 2.5 million tonnes of asphalt every year.

While strength comes from the aggregates, the binding agent is normally an oil-based bitumen derived from crude oil. The composition is varied to suit the end use.

Asphalt materials have evolved in a variety of ways over many years, but the pace of product development over recent years has been rapid.

The current generation of modern asphalts offers a range of important properties that improve road safety, maximise road life and reduce maintenance.

Benefits include:

  • Reducing spray
  • Enhancing road safety by maintaining good skid-resistance
  • Reducing road noise
  • Improving ride comfort
  • Reducing hold-ups at road works through more rapid laying
  • Extending the life of a road and reducing major maintenance by providing stronger, longer-life roadbases.

In addition, the UK industry is driving towards the production and use of more sustainable and environmentally friendly asphalts, through increased use of recycled materials and targeting reductions in energy use by lowering mixture temperatures.

Click here to view MPA’s asphalt guidance.  To access and download more asphalt standards information papers click here.

Appeal to abide by all temporary traffic signs

DfI and MPANI are appealing to road users to respect the safety of road workers and abide by all temporary traffic signs.

Visit for more information.

Useful downloads

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