by George Behring
In 1984, the St. Louis Velodrome was repaved with asphaltic concrete to match the existing surface material and was to have followed the existing contours. The original track construction began in 1961 with surfacing done in 1962. The National Championships were held on the track in 1962.
The original surface remained intact until the late 1970â€™s when an MSD sewer beneath one of the banks collapsed and had to be excavated to be repaired. A portion of the track was resurfaced following the repairs at the expense of either the City of St. Louis Park Dept. or MSD. The resurfaced area did not follow well the original with a resulting high section or shortcutting of the curve. The remainder of the track surface was aging at that point as well making competition difficult and several racing seasons were lost.
The present surface was applied in 1984, but was done twice. The original contractor hired by the City of St. Louis left the surface too rough. Maplewood Contracting (the company which did the original surface in 1962) did a second resurfacing. This greatly improved the situation and at least made the surface rideable. It was however, not the quality of the original track and through time, has further deteriorated.
Do not use a fabric such as Petramat between the old surface and new. This was done on the 1st repaving in 1984 and resulted in slippage on the banks between the existing and new surface. A normal primer to aid in adhesion is suggested. Scarifying of the old surface could be used to aid in adhesion and also help take down some of the high spots but this is an expensive procedure.
The cross section of the new surface should be straight from the top of the bank to the toe or base which is below the white line. The current surface has a swale or wallow in the pole lane, which is incorrect. See figure. Also see method of rolling.
Several deliveries of black top arrived late and therefore cold. It is speculated that drivers could not find the track and how to access it. The contractor should be encouraged distribute maps or utilize other logistics to avoid this.
Do not hand roll the surface. This was attempted in the 1984 effort and resulted in an uneven surface and porous top. The process was slow and could not keep pace with the arrival of asphalt. The roller was pulled top to bottom on the bank requiring several men. Subsequently the weight in the roller was reduced which further reduced its effectiveness.