CityCyclingEdinburgh Forum » Infrastructure

WoL Path Resurfacing

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  1. ejstubbs
    Member

    I thought we already has a thread about this but I can't track it down...

    We encountered "FOOTPATH CLOSED" signs at the start of the WoL path heading west from West Mill Road today. It didn't look particularly closed, and we weren't the only ones basically ignoring the signs and just keeping out of the way of the resurfacing gang when we encountered them. They seemed entirely unconcerned (or perhaps they were just used to people ignoring the signs). The new surface looks quite good, although personally I'd be little concerned about the rough edges which look to me to be potentially prone to collapse in to the newly-excavated drainage channels along the sides. Time will tell no doubt.

    But what was going through someone's mind when the resurfaced the stretch of the path east of Colinton Tunnel? Quite coarse grade hardcore laid loosely over what I suspect was a poorly levelled base (if it had been levelled at all) so that you frequently encountered 'sloughs' of loose stones which threatened to throw you off your bike. Fortunately my eMTB has fairly chunky tyres so I was able to negotiate it all safely - though even so not without the occasional slidey moment. I only met two cyclists coming the other way, both of whom had dismounted and were pushing their bikes (ironically perhaps, one of those was a gravel bike!) Does anyone know if this stretch is due to get some kind of top dressing to (a) hold it together better, and (b) make it a little bit smoother?

    Posted 4 months ago #
  2. Frenchy
    Member

    Spokes enquired about this and were told that it was caused by the dry weather leading to issues with the binding of the top layer after it was laid. "Options are being looked at" for fixing it.

    Posted 4 months ago #
  3. gembo
    Member

    Came up it tonight, the roller is still there, very few sections actually rolled in, good drainage and hopefully once finished will be fab

    Posted 4 months ago #
  4. fimm
    Member

    I went along the WoL on my mountain bike on Sunday.

    Agree about the section downhill of the Collinton tunnel - I passed people going uphill on bikes with narrower tyres than mine who were struggling because they were sinking into the gravel. Going downhill I was slower than I would have been had the hard mud still been there! (Some might say that this is not a bad thing.)

    I would not take anything other than my MTB along there anyway, but I'm even less likely to do that now.

    Posted 4 months ago #
  5. steveo
    Member

    I took the CDF up there the weekend before last; even with 40mm tyres that bit was ropey. I came back via Lanark road, didn't fancy that at any sort of speed.

    I gave them the benefit of the doubt at the time as I assumed they'd just not finished but a week later and it looks like it was hard so they gave up....

    Posted 4 months ago #
  6. Cyclops
    Member

  7. steveo
    Member

    Step 1: acknowledge there is a problem
    Step 2:... Anyone got step 2?

    Posted 4 months ago #
  8. Yodhrin
    Member

    Is there some reason they don't just use sodding tarmac?

    Posted 4 months ago #
  9. Morningsider
    Member

    One day I'm going to jack it all in and become a contractor that specialises in cycle infrastructure. Doesn't matter what you do - design, build, maintain. Literally any old $#!+ will do and you get employed again and again. Just need to work out which palms to grease and I'm in.

    Posted 4 months ago #
  10. steveo
    Member

    @morningsider if your looking for experienced consultants I can sit in meetings with no discernible purpose, no expected outcomes and no likely end for hours.

    Posted 4 months ago #
  11. gembo
    Member

    @yodhrin Horsey Brigade and mud joggers

    Posted 4 months ago #
  12. Morningsider
    Member

    @steveo - that's exactly the go getting attitude we will need. How are you on 200 slide powerpoint presentations and eating buffets where everything is beige/orange?

    Posted 4 months ago #
  13. acsimpson
    Member

    The second tweet is especially odd.

    "...ask wheeled users not to put themselves at risk, use alternative route."

    Is there any alternative which doesn't involve taking the risk of going on a road?

    Posted 4 months ago #
  14. steveo
    Member

    @morningsider I see you want to keep the power point brief, presumably you've skipped breakfast to leave more room for the beige.

    Posted 4 months ago #
  15. gembo
    Member

    @acsimpson, paddle board up the river? Watch the weir at Juni Green

    Posted 4 months ago #
  16. Yodhrin
    Member

    @gembo Ah. Of course in a civilised country, they would just widen the path and have a properly surfaced section with a dirt trail alongside, but no doubt there's some excuse as to why that would never work in Snowflakeville, the most unique city ever where nowhere else's ideas could ever work.

    Posted 4 months ago #
  17. steveo
    Member

    Went up (and down) this evening love how they've acknowledged that the surface is dangerous, done nothing to alieveate the risk instead are doubling down and cracking on with the rest of it.

    Even on 2.5" off road tyres it was ropey and coming down was a bit of a slog!

    Posted 4 months ago #
  18. chdot
    Admin

    A spokesman for Edinburgh and Lothians Greenspace Trust said: "We are aware of the issue and we are working with supplier to rectify it and we will have an improved surface next week.”

    It is understood similar material has been used previously elsewhere without a problem.

    https://www.edinburghnews.scotsman.com/news/transport/edinburghs-water-of-leith-walkway-partially-closed-after-resurfacing-work-goes-wrong-3779299

    Also

    In the meantime, we request the public do not put themselves at risk and use an alternative route.”

    That’ll be Lanark Road then…

    Posted 4 months ago #
  19. ejstubbs
    Member

    @steveo: I rode Lanark Road-Colinton Tunnel on the 7th and my recollection is that the new surface was in place then, and was quite nice to ride on. I went that way again exactly a week later and it was horrible, as reported in my OP. To my eye the stones used in the mix on that section are much larger and it doesn't surprise me that they didn't bind as well/at all.

    My observations re that section seem to match Cllr Rust's in the EEN article, except that it was two weeks ago when I first rode it and it was OK, and a week ago when it had deteriorated to rubbish. It might be that his recollection of dates is a bit out, or maybe the EEN has been sitting on his quote for week before publishing it.

    We walked the WoL west of Colinton on Monday and the stuff they were using on that stretch seemed to be much finer-grained than the rubbish the other side of Colinton Tunnel. They were still in the process of laying it, though (IIRC there was a roller present, but not in use when we passed by). They seemed to be doing it in two passes. Some parts of the surface we walked seemed to be binding well, other sections were quite loose - there were visible marks on it from the tracks & wheels of the machinery - but that might have been because it had only just been laid and not compacted.

    I don't know how much of a role heat plays in the curing process for this stuff but I did notice that they were transporting it quite a way from the location where it was being prepared (somewhere near Spylaw Park AFAICT) to the actual work site, which suggests that it might have cooled somewaht in transit (even though it was bloomin' hot on Monday).

    Posted 4 months ago #
  20. chdot
    Admin

    Macadam is a type of road construction, pioneered by Scottish engineer John Loudon McAdam around 1820, in which crushed stone is placed in shallow, convex layers and compacted thoroughly. A binding layer of stone dust (crushed stone from the original material) may form; it may also, after rolling, be covered with a cement or bituminous binder to keep dust and stones together. The method simplified what had been considered state-of-the-art at that point.

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Macadam

    Not been up yet so don’t know what material they are using - or how they have been trying to bind it.

    But with two centuries of experience, you’d think…

    Clearly the ‘normal’ tarmac on the first section up from the canal has worked fine. This was paid for by Sustrans 30? years ago.

    It would probably have been wise to keep going up to the tunnel, but there were ‘objections’ - I think mostly ‘fear of speeding cyclists’.

    This could, probably, have been minimised - I would hope without lots of chicanes.

    A well laid surface with the right amount of whin dust plus proper rolling should last for a few years.

    The main issue is water/adequate drainage - this is a real difficulty just below the tunnel - but not insoluble.

    Don’t know who the contractors are, but you’d expect they would know how to do things like this!!!

    Posted 4 months ago #
  21. ejstubbs
    Member

    @chdot: Not been up yet so don’t know what material they are using - or how they have been trying to bind it.

    My understanding was that they should be using Ultritec [again?] which is supposed to be self-binding: https://twitter.com/heather_1m/status/1549439082195189760 - certainly the 20mm aggregate size seems to match with what's skiting around loose on Lanark Road-Colinton Tunnel section. But according to that tweet it's no longer available so maybe they're using an inferior substitute product? (Been there, had that done by landscape contractors using a generic 'equivalent' to Geofix for the pointing between paving stones, which never cured and ended up as sticky, sandy particles all over the place.)

    Posted 4 months ago #
  22. steveo
    Member

    Went up today. Not sure if it's the final surface but it's pretty good now, if a little soft, I don't know how well the current surface will hold up to a lot of bikes let me alone horses.

    Posted 4 months ago #
  23. ejstubbs
    Member

    I've just ridden through from Lanark Road to JK's horsey school. The bad stretch on the section between the Bogsmill Road overbridge and Spylaw Park has been relaid, or had another layer laid over it, and is a lot smoother, though the coarse aggregate can still be seen emerging from under the new surface in places. It seems to be binding more or less OK. I think over time it'll end up like the section west of Redhall Millbrae.

    I wasn't particularly impressed by the path closure between Spylaw park and West Mill Road. The 'diversion' requires you to ride through Colinton village, which is rather car-and van-infested, and then do that rather 'interesting' right turn at the lights to get on the Woodhall Road, whereupon you are close-passed by a geriatric couple in a blobby people carrier (well I was, anyway). On inspecting the closed off bit of the path from the West Mill Road end it did appear to be possible to slip past the short stretch of security fencing around the drainage works, at least if you are on foot, but by that time I was on the other side anyway.

    The newly-laid section from West Mill Road as far as Woodhall Millbrae I think may not be binding well. There were quite a few loose patches, some quite close to the rather steep shoulder at the edge of the newly laid surface, which could turn out dicey. The aggregate seems to be rather more fine-grained than the stuff that caused all the problems at the Lanark Road end (before they fixed it) but I'm not convinced they won't have to have another go at this section as well.

    I did notice that the equipment used by the surfacing team (mini dumper, spreader and roller) is still parked up in the Colinton Station car park so maybe they know that there is work still to be done.

    One minor annoyance is that the desire line under the bypass overbridge at Woodhall Millbrae has been closed off with three panels of stout metal fencing. I don't really understand why that needed to be done. As it is, it now forces folks on bikes to follow the rather awkward dog-leg route taken by the main path.

    Posted 4 months ago #
  24. gembo
    Member

    Went up and down today just before tea, Whin Dust has been added from the paved section after the footbridge over the canal. Right up to the Colinton tunnel. This whin dust will turn to sludge like it did the last time they laid it. As Kekkonen the President of Finland For 25 years used to say SAATANAN TUNARIT. I was recently given a t shirt by a very dear friend of Kekkonen and this judgement So it is Official. As I wore the t shirt to allow Kekkonen to inspect the works.

    After the tunnel you can just push round the fencing, you don’t need to follow a diversion. The HERAS. Fenced area is linked to a pipe or two up the middle, this bit of the path is in surfaced. There is a new rainbow sign says 4 miles Edinburgh 55 miles Glasgow. After the former Globespan building and road it is back to loose chipp8ngs though they are smaller. This goes on until the Bypass at which as stubbsie points out, a wee fence has been built to stop you cycling under the bypass.

    These chippings are smaller but not binding.

    Posted 4 months ago #
  25. Dave
    Member

    Cycling under the bypass meant you didn't have to tackle pedestrians at a 90 degree bend. I don't understand why they didn't pave it, let alone fence it off. WTF

    Posted 4 months ago #
  26. Morningsider
    Member

    I notice one of the main paths on the Braids has also been partially resurfaced. Apparently with semolina. The path was in a bit of a state, but I can't see this new surface lasting the winter - a couple of heavy downpours and it will mainly be clogging local drains and ditches.

    Posted 4 months ago #
  27. gembo
    Member

    When the dogs get covered in the tapioca grey sludge they need hosed down by their walkers but in winter they are not hugely keen. Harlaw reservoir from the run off bridge to the bailiff’s hut is similarly coated in a heavy grey dandruff but has been thumped in.

    Posted 4 months ago #
  28. chdot
    Admin

    Related

    Footbridge Closure by Redhall Walled Garden - The Council have confirmed that the footbridge over the Water of Leith, in Colinton and Craiglockhart Dell, near Redhall Walled Garden has been closed due to safety concerns following an inspection.

    https://mobile.twitter.com/cllrscottarthur/status/1555856273706557442

    Posted 4 months ago #
  29. ejstubbs
    Member

    Ha, we walked over that bridge just the other week.

    The one upstream from Redhall Mill is still closed after god knows how long, and there's also a damaged bridge on the actual walkway itself (south bank), the rather unsatisfactory diversion for which IIRC takes you up along a rather bushwhacking path and then basically leaves you to find your own way back to the WoL path in the vicinity of Kates Mill.

    Some of the bridges over the Braid Burn in the Hermitage feel a bit shonky as well. One of them has one of those big plastic covers - the kind that roadworkers put over holes in the road - covering what I assume is a particularly dodgy section of wooden bridge deck. If they end up having to close the section of the Hermitage path between the Hermitage itself and the bridge at the bottom of the Lang Linn Path steps, that'll upset a lot of dogwalkers, plus a fair few cyclists who use Blackford Glen Road and the Hermitage as a traffic-free route avoiding Braid Hills Drive/Braid Hills Road.

    Posted 4 months ago #
  30. chdot
    Admin

    Posted 4 months ago #

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