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Mountain road to close for essential surface dressing 15 June 2007

The Department of Transport has announced that the Mountain Road will close between 9.30am and 4.30pm each week day from Monday, June 18th for a period of up to two weeks.

The closure is to carry out surface dressing to two sections of the Mountain Road from the Gooseneck to Guthries and from Windy Corner to the Creg ny Baa (six kilometres in total).

Work will involve removing existing white lines, applying surface dressing and then leaving it for at least three days to be bedded in by traffic, after which the road will be closed again to allow the loose chippings to be swept up and the white lines restored.

The Department will also take the opportunity to carry out other work, including planing and overlaying a quarter of a kilometre of the road above Guthries Memorial.

Director of Works Clive Callister explained the process.

He said:

‘Surface dressing effectively seals the road surface to increase the life of the road and provide a new surface, improving skid resistance. Surface dressing is widely used in Britain and is a very cost effective way of extending the life of a road.

‘During the white line removal and replacement work, machines are operating in the middle of the road and there isn’t width to pass safely by. As we will be working on long sections to minimise disruption, we are unable to use single lanes and traffic control. The option of using small sections would mean that it would take a lot longer to carry out the work and would cause a lot more disruption.

‘It is unfortunate, but it is a fact that some people do not slow down despite the warning signs at roadworks and they put our staff, themselves and other road users at risk. Because of this we have no alternative other than to use road closures more often.’

Minister for Transport, the Hon David Anderson MHK, said:

‘Surface dressing can only be carried out in good weather and, as it does leave some loose chippings even after sweeping, it cannot be done just before TT or the Manx Grand Prix.’

The Minister explained that the work is essential for the safety of all road users and not just to improve the course for racing.

‘Because we have to apply for a road closure well in advance, we have applied for a two-week closure from Monday, June 18th,’ he said. ‘However, If we get good weather, it will not take that long and we will only close the road on days when the weather is good enough to work, and then only between 9.30am and 4.30pm, outside of rush hour traffic.’

Regular updates will be posted to the Department’s Roadwatch website and broadcast on radio stations. The Creg ny Baa and Tholt-y-Will tea rooms will remain open for business.

‘We understand people’s frustrations and we hope people will appreciate that we are doing the work this way to minimise disruption to the majority of the travelling public,’

the Minister said.

‘If we do not do this, the condition of the road will deteriorate and cost a lot more to repair, with increased disruption. We are combining all the jobs we can together at once.’

Motorists are urged to drive slowly with care over the loose chippings (20mph maximum advised) and continue to drive sensibly after the work is finished, as there are always a few chippings that work loose. Motorists should use the Kirk Michael road or Laxey Coast road as alternative routes while the work is ongoing.

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