Tarmac, the UK’s leading construction solutions provider, has put the finishing touches to a £1.6million, state-of-the-art velodrome built by Willmott Dixon at the Middlesbrough Sports Village.
The company, which has completed over ten velodromes across the UK in recent years, surfaced the Olympic-standard, 250-metre cycling track on a challenging four-week schedule.
To install the seven metre wide track, Tarmac created a unique paving solution. It included stabilising A-frame rigs fixed between the paving and rolling equipment, enabling the asphalt to be laid horizontally as a continuous layer on the velodrome’s steep 34 degrees sloping camber. The specialist equipment not only created a race-smooth finish, but also ensured the project was delivered safely by mitigating the risk of an unsupported vehicle tipping over on the velodrome’s steep banking.
A meticulous laying and compaction process was required to achieve the client’s exacting tolerances, with Tarmac initially installing two layers of modified 14mm binder courses, at 80mm total depth, to regulate the concrete and sub-base foundations.
The track surfacing was completed using UltiTrack 6mm, an ultra-smooth, proprietary material laid at 25mm depth, developed specifically for use on velodromes.
UltiTrack is made up of fine granite, which helps to give a smooth, durable low-friction finish creating a surface with excellent ride quality for cyclists. A polymer is added to the asphalt to reduce the susceptibility of the surface to hot weather damage, providing plenty of grip required for holding a bike on steep banking areas.
Andy Bedford, contracts manager at Tarmac, said: “We’re delighted to have been able to use our extensive velodrome expertise to help create a state-of-the-art facility in Middlesbrough that will be enjoyed by cyclists for many years to come.”
Councillor Lewis Young, Middlesbrough Council’s Executive Member for Culture, Leisure and Sport, added: “The Sports Village is an outstanding sports destination of regional significance, and the velodrome is a fitting addition to one of the best facilities of its kind in the country.
“The track will give more people than ever the opportunity get involved in cycling and is set to become a focal point for local, regional and national level competition.”
Main contractor Willmott Dixon started work on the velodrome in February 2015. The new venue, which has been constructed using compacted stone filling, has been funded by British Cycling and Middlesbrough Council. It is due to be officially opened later this year.