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‘Mt Glorious tar ‘not so glorious’

Riders concerned about melting surface

New roadworks on Mt Glorious melting tar reservations bitumen
(Photoshopped sign for irony!)

Four years after melting tar on the Mt Glorious Rd west of Brisbane in 2017 resulted in at least one rider crashing and after recent multi-million-dollar roadworks, the issue of melting tar is back again on the popular motorcyclist road.

The Motorcycle Advocacy Group Facebook page is warning riders to take care on the Mt Glorious Road from Samford as “the new surface is falling to bits since the weather warmed up”.

“The esses are particularly bad especially from the beehives down. Be extra careful,” their page says.

The issue of melting tar is not exclusive to Queensland nor to the popular Mt Glorious motorcycle road.

The Oxley Highway in NSW, which is a Meccas to many riders, also offered melting issues in 2019 and water was sprayed over the highway to blast away excess bitumen and cool the road down after it began melting.

Melting tar on Oxley highway sand fix
Melting tar on the Oxley Highway

The Mt Glorious Rd melting surface issue comes after more than $11 million worth of roadworks and almost four years of consultation between Queensland Main Roads and the Motorcycle Advocacy Group (MAG).

MAG spokesman Stuart Langfield says they warned of two prior upgrades which were also “unsuitable and had to be ripped up and re-laid”.

“At every stage we told them this was an unsuitable surface. They ignored us and argued with us.”

Stuart contacted the department after a recent hot weekend to complain about the dangerous melting surface which has been further eroded by trucks.

Melting tar on Mt Glorious Rd
Melting tar on Mt Glorious Rd

“I was able to push my index finger into the surface and remove stones at all of the three levels laid,” he says.

Update: A Transport and Main Roads spokesperson says: 

We completed safety improvements along the seven-kilometre section of Samford-Mount Glorious Road between Dawson Creek Road and Mount Glorious Road in April this year.

The works included road resealing which improves skid resistance, provides a waterproofing layer and helps extend the life of the road.

We inspected the site on Wednesday (13 October) and determined the road surface is safe.

Road spray seals require time to settle and given its newness, the Samford-Mount Glorious Road seal is performing within our standard limits.

We will continue to monitor the road to ensure it remains safe.

We encourage all motorists to drive safely to the conditions, obeying speed limits and advisory signs.

However, the issue may get worse through summer as the temperature heats up.

MAG had asked for “hotmix” bitumen on the surface which a contractor had told them was only $25 per ton more expensive than the present surface.

“A miniscule amount in the scheme of things now this road too requires ripping up and replacing with that very material,” Stuart says.

“Further to that the next stage upgrade on the western side of Mt Glorious is about to commence and no doubt it will suffer the same fate.

“This is a blatant waste of $11m and a flagrant disregard for the input of concerned parties.”

Stuart says MAG raised the issue of the public service ignoring public input at a recent Parliamentary investigation into road safety.