April 27, 2017

In the red lane

Dedicated red bus lanes are common around Australian cities as a way to help improve the reliability and efficiency of bus services. However, these lanes are often found on busy stretches of road which presents a major challenge with the red surface treatment as there is limited time available for the road to be coated and cured. A fast cure solution from Hychem allows lanes to be coated and back in service in a matter of hours.

According to AS 1742.12:2000 Manual of uniform traffic control devices: Bus, transit, tram and truck lanes, coloured surface treatment is used on bus lanes to improve delineation and increase motorists’ awareness of the bus lanes. These lanes are usually coloured red to highlight the prominence of the transit system, while at the same time visually enforcing dedicated transit space.

Red bus lanes are typically provided in two ways: surface treatments placed on road pavement using specialised binders, or coloured aggregates which have high skid resistance characteristics.

The need for fast turnaround

Chris Bauer, Head of Flooring at Hychem, said the main challenge associated with applying surface treatments on roads is that the road cannot be closed off for long periods of time.

“As these lanes are often found on busy roads, there is a need to limit the amount of time taken to apply and cure the coating as lanes need to be closed off for the work to take place. This becomes an issue during peak hour traffic with drivers becoming frustrated with increased travel times,” Mr Bauer said.

“Methyl Methacrylate (MMA) products are ideal for such projects as they are designed to be used where fast curing is required. These systems can be returned to regular service for traffic in as little as a few hours, which is generally not possible with epoxy and polyurethane systems.”

The best time to coat bus lanes is during the night when traffic is at its lightest and there is less chance of drivers being impacted by the works.

“The great thing about MMA’s is that contractors can begin installing the coating late in the evening and by the time morning peak hour begins, the contractors have finished, the coating has cured and the lane is ready for use again,” Mr Bauer said.

A durable solution

Another consideration for surface treatments for bus lanes is the durability of the product used.

In the past, there have been instances where red bus lanes have been installed, only for the product to wash away just weeks after being applied due to heavy traffic use and weather. This not only becomes an eyesore but is costly as the previous coating needs to be removed and a new coating applied.

“MMA is more durable than traditional thermoplastic or epoxy resins in such applications, and has lower lifecycle costs, especially under heavy vehicle loads. It can withstand the impact of regular traffic and it has excellent weather resistance,” Mr Bauer said.

MMA also has the ability to be formulated to produce a highly flexible waterproofing solution with the advantage of having excellent crack-bridging characteristics. This allows it to be used to repair cracks in the bitumen during the application process, if required.

Additional benefits include high UV stability, making MMA perfect for outdoor applications as the colour won’t fade or change, and varying degrees of slip resistance can also be obtained.

For more information on MMA, please contact Hychem on (02) 4646 1660.

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