Velodrome Closed for Resurfacing
Work is underway to repair the dilapidated track at the Herne Hill Velodrome. The six-week project is the first major work to be carried out at the site since the recent signing of a 15-year lease between the landowners, The Dulwich Estate, and British Cycling as secure tenant.
The track condition has been deteriorating for some time to the extent that a number of races, most notably the historic Good Friday Meeting, have been temporarily moved elsewhere. However, funding has been made available through British Cycling’s ‘Whole Sport Plan’ and a financial bequest from London resident Leonard Lyes. Lyes, who died in July 2009, was a member of De Laune Cycling Club and regularly officiated at Herne Hill track meetings. He asked his bequest be used “in the pursuit of track cycling”.
Work on the track is expected to last around six weeks, and British Cycling’s Facilities Officer, Patrick Flanagan, explains what will be happening during this time:
"The track does need extensive structural repairs. It currently has a concrete base with an epoxy resin finish. This finish has failed and cracked, allowing water to enter the structure and, in conjunction with frost, cause extensive damage, alongside some settling of the concrete base."
"The repairs will start with this concrete base, which will be mended with fibre-glass reinforcement at each joint - it was originally made in 10 metre lengths and where these join, unevenness is now a problem. The repairs will provide a strong and very smooth base upon which the new track surface can be laid."
"The track will then be re-surfaced with a special velodrome-specific covering called ‘MasterTrack', a product we developed in conjunction with Tarmac. MasterTrack contains very fine granite stones and is exceptionally smooth, hard and dense, making it ideal for track racing. It is also impervious to water, so damage from the elements will be eliminated."
"The new surface will be 7 metres wide and laying it presents some challenges: its width, combined with the camber, which changes in the bends, and the need for an extremely smooth finish, make it remarkably difficult to lay. Tarmac has developed a unique rig which runs on a track inside the cycling track: this allows them to lay the surface in three wide strips. So, all in all, it's a pretty special project with some unique problems and equally unique solutions."
The Velodrome is currently closed as it is a construction site, so please no visits until it is re-opened in early September 2011. Thank you.