Mobile Barriers Protect WorkersThe NTTA is the first entity in the state to deploy two mobile barrier systems that protect drivers and work crews during short-term roadside maintenance projects where use of a semi-permanent concrete barrier is not feasible.
After NTTA bought its first mobile barrier in 2009, maintenance staff quickly experienced its ease of use and protection from traffic. The NTTA purchased a second barrier in 2010, and both barriers are used daily, more than earning a return on the investment for each barrier.
The barriers take less than 10 minutes to set up reducing the amount of time workers are in the lane thus the amount of time of traffic is impeded. A time-lapse video shows NTTA crews setting up and clearing one of the barriers. Workers pull the barrier on a trailer to the temporary work zone, lay rumble strips on the road, and then clear the barrier, returning again later to repeat the demonstration. The total time lapsed for both demonstrations was less than 15 minutes from set up to completion.
The barrier system incorporates a smooth steel beam with an impact cushion on the end facing oncoming traffic. The barrier is towed into place using a semi-trailer truck. Federally required crash tests showed that the barrier can effectively redirect and absorb the impact of a 2.5–ton vehicle (such as a passenger vehicle or a pickup truck) going more than 60 miles per hour.
Traditional barrier methods for work zones are either ineffective against high-speed traffic or take significantly longer to deploy than the actual time needed to complete the short-term project. Having a quick and effective way to provide positive protection from oncoming traffic assures full compliance of safety procedures among maintenance work crews, said J.C. Wood, NTTA director of maintenance.
“The safety of our employees and our drivers is absolutely number one for us,” Wood said. “Protecting our employees is top priority.”