Thursday, September 3, 2009

MALAYSIA NORTH-SOUTH EXPRESSWAY



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 often.

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 tyres. 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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