The Mountain Road is being closed during the daytime this week for roadworks.
The first phase of the work, including resurfacing the Ramsey Hairpin, requires the Mountain Road to be closed to traffic from today (Monday) to Thursday, with a possible closure on the Friday in the event of any delay due to poor weather.
During this period the Mountain Road will be re-opened between Creg-ny-Baa and the Bungalow from 5pm each evening until 9.30am the next morning, however the section from Bungalow to Ramsey will remain closed.
The work includes:
Re-surfacing of Ramsey Hairpin
Re-surfacing Creg-ny-Baa corner
Checking and replacing cats’ eyes
Checking and replacing retro reflective verge markers
Re-newing road markings
Drainage ditch clearance
Miscellaneous patching and re-surfacing where required.
The remaining phases of the work will follow from Monday, September 16, over a further three weeks with the Mountain Road closed off peak between 9.30am and 4.30pm, Monday to Saturdays inclusive. There is provision for an evening closure from 6.30pm if required.
Continuous access will be maintained to the Creg-ny-Baa public house and the Peveril Rifle Club.
The Department of Infrastructure says that motorists and race fans may have observed that the surface at Ramsey Hairpin and the Creg-ny-Baa are deteriorating and require attention.
A spokeman said: ‘The full closure is required due to the tight movement of vehicles around the hairpin. Normally it is possible to lay tarmac and fairly quickly re-open the new surface to traffic.
‘However in this instance the skewing forces generated by vehicles cornering so tightly would quickly churn up the new surface which needs to be allowed to fully cool before being opened to traffic.
‘The significant swept path and movement of vehicles around the bend also makes it impossible to keep one lane open to traffic.’
He added: ‘Similar space restraints apply at the Creg-ny-Baa and people may be aware that the Creg-ny-Baa bend had a special high friction surface applied some years ago.
‘This was added to improve grip in view of the poor and varied super elevation (cross fall) around the bend. The high friction surface was successful in giving the necessary grip to assist cornering but has now started to fail.
‘It has delaminated from the road surface due to changes in temperature and weather but also due to the lateral forces applied by vehicles during cornering. High friction surfacing is an expensive technique and in order to replace it like for like we would first need to re-surface the road and then re-apply the high friction surface.
‘If we did this then we could anticipate that the surface would fail again.
‘Therefore the corner will be re-surfaced, but at the same time the super elevation (cross fall) will be increased slightly to provide for a smoother and safer cornering experience.
‘This will restore the road surface to a good condition and will negate the need for the high friction surface which in turn will help reduce the need for future maintenance work and costs.
‘The new surface will benefit all users.’