First publishedin World Highways
Barrier and crash cushion systems can make a great deal of difference to roadway safety, with new technology offering major benefits to road users
In North America and Western Europe, concrete centre line dividers are being used for many major highways as these provide a durable solution for preventing cross-over accidents with large vehicles such as heavy trucks. It is worth noting too that other countries are now adopting concrete barriers for highway centre line dividers also, with this system being used on new or upgraded highways in many Eastern European nations as well as parts of Africa for example. Specialist firm Transpo
has developed an innovative system that can be fitted on top of a concrete New Jersey-type barrier to further boost safety. This system fits onto the barrier easily and quickly and reduces the risk of driver distraction and dazzling caused by vehicle headlights on adjacent carriageways. The system also provides a noise attenuation function.
However, other solutions are needed for other roadway safety requirements. Steel barriers are used in many installations, while technologies have also been developed to meet the safety needs of vulnerable road users.
In the UK Highway Care
has supplied 74 Xtension 110 P4 terminals for use on the busy A14, a key route that links the port of Felixstowe in East Anglia with industrial centres in the Midlands. Traffic volumes have increased substantially on the A14 and there has been a recognised need to upgrade the route. Over the last six months work has been underway to install fibre optic cables along the A14's length in order to provide real-time traffic information to 72 electronic overhead signs. Birse
Civil Engineering awarded the contract to Arbus
Civil Engineering to install safety barrier to protect this important infrastructure.
Protecting vulnerable road users The innovative Biker Mate post cushion system been installed on the A4071 Rugby Western Relief Road, to help boost safety for motorcyclists. The road links the A45 and the M6/M1 motorways and as such is an extremely busy traffic route and very popular with motorcyclists.
An engineer from Warwickshire County Council said that the Biker Mate was selected to protect the post as concern had been raised in a safety audit. Checking the market revealed that the Biker Mate from SignPost Solutions would meet the needs of the installation, while it was also quick and easy to fit.
Biker Mate is an impact absorption cushion and is specifically designed for the safety of motorcycle riders. It features an outer case manufactured from UV stabilised polypropylene plus inserts of multi-layered pressload cushions it is low-cost and suitable for most roadside structures including sign posts, lighting columns and signal poles.