Bridge Joints Let Down!

If you have been following our concerns about the bridge joints on the M3 bridge over the Lagan in Belfast, you will know that we and other motorcyclists, had voiced concerns over the grip when passing over these joints.

Over the weekend of the 15th September the application of a skid resistance treatment to all the joints on the M3 bridge was completed.

The Roads Service say that, ” It is hoped that this treatment will be long lasting, however, both ourselves and the DBFO Contractor will continue to monitor the adhesion of this newly applied product. I am hopeful that this solution will improve the skid resistance of the joint, especially in wet conditions.”

Fantastic news you would think and the news set of some initial comments on our Right To Ride Facebook page.

“Hard work paid off! Well done”

“Use this route twice daily. This is great news (albeit it long overdue by the Roads Service), it’s been heart in the mouth stuff for years, as each time you feel your front dip & back skip in the wet.”

However one rider was not impressed and now that we have had the opportunity to travel over the treated joints we are in complete agreement.

And those comments are, “It still has a 6 inch shiny overband prior to the anti skid, still bloody dangerous in the wet”

“You can see clearly in the photo the wide strip of overbanding prior to the rough grip in front of the drain. Whole of the front wheel slid on the dam overbanding, plus it’s worse when heading out of Belfast on the approach to the m5 ,right on the bend you have the bike lent over ,you are slowing down and the cars are right up your ass lights flashing…wots the point in trying to make improvements then slap a thick patch of overbanding down????”

“Wait until Monday the forecast is for rain, try riding over it yourself a few times in both directions, it’s pretty bad on both the bends, but definitely worse heading towards the M5, seems as if the width of the over banning pretty much takes up the whole of my tyres contact area with the ground, it’s like hitting black ice, could they not of used ordinary tarmac ?????”

What would appear to be a solution offered and performed by Roads Service, (who have recognised the serious of the issue and made all attempts to solve this), or perhaps in hindsight we should have been more active in what the exact solution was going to be before it was done.

Perhaps we are being too rough on Roads Service although it appears that this is only a half job and there still needs to be a solution to the on-going problem.

As the contractor and engineers at Roads Service have looked for a solution on what material to use on the joints, readers may wish to read the latest item on “Premark Anti-Skid”, which is a high performance anti-slip material for manhole/service covers.

Premark representative, Andy Price has offered to look at this joint during his next visit to Northern Ireland, to judge whether Premark could also assist with the area that hasn’t been treated.  If Premark was suitable he has offered a trial of Premark on the bridge joint, free of charge!

Who could turn down an offer like this?


Read more on Mind The Joint – Slippy When Wet! – Click Here

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  1. Good luck with the “Premark Anti-Skid”, SCC have been playing with it along with Southern water on polished iron manhole covers, thus far the result’s are disappointing, heavy vehicles, in this case buses, have torn half of it off the test cover.

  2. Thanks for your input Niel
    It’s not about luck, it’s about ability !!
    I think I have heard of the covers you have mentioned. I am also sure that these covers were treated without any formal training or prior experience of applying such a coating, hence that some of the process was missed out, but I am investigating that. I am aware that a couple of covers were treated by a contractor, without primer, and have since failed, maybe this is one of them. If you could provide me with details of the cover, location etc, I would be keen to look at it. Please dont hesitate to contact me, you can get my details from our website on the ‘About Us’ page.
    Just on one other point, SCC are not ‘playing with it’, as you describe, as it will ultimately be Southern Water’s decision whether to go forward, however the local authority has an obligation to make the roads safer, and in that respect, they should already have dealt with the polished covers!

  3. Hi all
    Just a quick update regarding the alledged faulty material in the southern regions, Southern Water and Clancy Docwra are now undergoing training in order to resolve the previous issues, and are looking at a programme of installation, using Premark Anti-Skid, throughout the counties.
    I am hopeful that this may encourage a change of opinion for Niel, when he sees the positive results acheived by this treatment.
    Kind regards, Andy

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