Friday, July 25, 2008

Our Resurfaced North-South Expressway is SLIPPERY! (Malaysia)

Dear TV3 and The Star,

I am a frequent user of our North-South Expressway and I
have this IMPORTANT experience to highlight and share:-

I was driving back to Penang yesterday afternoon (24 June
08) when I saw the unfortunate accident in the opposite
direction involving the passenger bus that skidded and
overturned at Tanjung Malim. I didn't know that the
skidded bus was from hometown Penang until I watched TV3
news later in the evening and was shocked to learn that the
accident took two lives.

Now, this is what I need to share:-

I am a building contractor with over twenty years of
experience and I have been driving my 5 series BMW (latest
generation and a dammed solid road holding car) each time I
travelled to KL. Lately, the new extended 3 lanes highway
had been opened up for use and since then, I have also been
using it quite oftenly.

HOWEVER, when I used it each time it is WET, I can really
'feel' that the new road surface is extremely
SLIPPERY! To share with some of you, my car comes with a
built-in traction control mechanism (skidding prevention
mechanism) and you can feel it each time it is activated.
Previously, I don't come across this kind of slippery
feel except when I drive over a paddle of water at certain
speed.

From my observation as a building contractor, the
'wearing course' of the new road surface could be
TOO FINE OR TOO SMOOTH and TOTALLY UNSUITABLE for highway
use!
The wearing course (top premix layer) mix design for
highways should be of minimum 20mm coarse aggregate mix
that will give us the required bond between the surface and
our tires. Fine wearing course (14mm coarse aggregate size
and below) is only suitable for normal road. (A proper test
need to be carried out to determine the mix design of the
wearing course).

Since the opening of the three lanes highway, I had seen
cars skidding in front me or in the opposite direction and
approximately 2 weeks ago, one of my friends who is also a
frequent user of our NSE, came to share with me about his
slippery feeling as well as the many skidded cars he had
seen lately.

I am highlighting this to TV3 and The Star with the hope
that a thorough investigation could be carried out
immediately to find out how or what causes the bus to skid.
A proper and independent test need to be carried out
urgently to determine the design mix of the wearing course.
THIS CAN SAVE LIVES.

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