Emerging traffic safety measures

Dec. 28, 2000

Compact, multi-purpose changeable message sign

The Silent Messenger II by Solar Technology Inc., Allentown, Pa., is designed for those applications where a changeable sign is needed, but space is limited. The unit, approximately the size of a trailer-mounted arrow board, weighs 1,450 lb and the sign panel measures 94 in. wide by 54 in. high.

Completely solar powered, the full matrix/full graphics display features one, two or three line message capability, plus flashing arrows, moving arrows, chevrons and custom graphics. Three levels of password protection and start/stop programming with time/date calendar are included at no additional cost. Cellular remote control and radar speed monitor options are available. User-friendly, menu-driven programs provide for easy creation, modification and display of message and graphics. Up to 400 messages, 200 sequences of up to 16 messages each, 50 pre-programmed graphics and 50 user-defined custom graphics can be stored. The custom control console features an industrial grade, alphanumeric, 100% waterproof keyboard and an 8 line by 40 character graphics LCD display, backlit for night use.

Crash cushions

Wauconda, Ill.-based Roadway Safety Service Inc., a division of Quixote Corp., has expanded its REACT 350 line of attenuators. A complete line of medium-width REACTs, capable of shielding hazards from 2 to 10 ft has already been approved by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA). The medium-width REACTs offer the same attributes of the original REACT, the ability to be hit repeatedly without the need for costly repairs and the ability of the units to restore themselves to 85% of original design capacity without any maintenance whatsoever.

Depending on the specific speed requirements, the crash cushions can handle speeds in excess of 70 mph. Engineers can now specify reusable self-restoring and extremely safe crash cushions for a wide range of applications, from narrow obstacles such as guardrail terminals and concrete median barrier ends to medium-width obstacles such as gores, sign bases and toll plazas. Available with two anchoring options, the systems can be free-standing with a self contained backup system or anchored to an existing concrete backup at the site. When anchored to concrete or asphalt, the elevated tracks keep the cylinders up off the pavement diminishing any possible effect from buildup such as snow and ice.

Optical lens

Ver-Mac Inc., Sainte-Foy, Quebec, manufactures an optical lens which enhances the light output of LEDs by 33%. This patented lens allows the company to deliver boards which meet and exceed all state visibility requirements while using two-thirds the power consumption. The company's arrow and message boards use fewer solar panels and batteries, yet give an extended continuous running time.

Street saw

Equipment Development Co. Inc., Frederick, Md., now offers new features for the EDCO DS-16 street saw. Redesigned to accommodate 14- to 18-in. diamond blades, the saw is useful for making contraction joints, repairing slabs or cutting asphalt. A larger screw-type depth control makes it easier to raise and lower the blade for cutting. Design improvements allow belt changes without blade shaft disassembly, so arbor alignment is not compromised. The unit retains its heavy-duty box-frame construction.

Octagonal-shape sign support system

S-Square Tube Products, a Commerce City, Colo.-based manufacturing company, recently introduced a new octagonal-shaped sign support system called "NEX". Designed to telescope inside existing square anchors, the octagonal-shaped steel post locks in place with a crash-tested wedge. Tamper resistant hardware is available for quick and easy sign mounting. Cost-effective, the structurally sound sign posts passed FHWA breakaway standards and are available in 1 3/4 in., 2 in. and 2 1/4 in. in both 12 and 14 gauge, with a G-90 hot-dipped galvanized zinc coating.

SafetyCade meets NCHRP-350 requirements

SafetyCade, a patented channelizing system from WLI Industries, Villa Park, Ill., has been accepted by the FHWA as "crashworthy" under NCHRP Report 350. As a result, the SafetyCade system can now be readily used in work zones on all National Highway System roads under the new FHWA ruling. SafetyCade's crashworthiness is a result of several design features including a collapsible, locking feature that keeps the unit close to the ground when hit allowing for vehicle driveover and a built-in battery box located below bumper height reducing the batteries chance of becoming flying projectiles on impact. In addition, SafetyCade now offers an optional mercury on/off switch that automatically turns the light off when activated.

Safe signage

Safe-Hit Corp., based in Hayward, Calif., manufactures a complete line of flexible guide posts, construction channelizers, tubular markers, glare screen, guard rail delineators, barrier markers, emergency stop signs as well as other co-extruded polyethylene products manufactured for the highway service industry. Additional applications include vertical panels, barricades and the RubberTough product line.

Pedestrian barricades

Addguards, a Remcon Co. from Reading, Pa., offers the pedestrian barricade system that provides complete enclosure to a dangerous area. The strong, durable, lightweight barricade can be folded and stored easily. They can be used with engineering-grade, high-intensity and non-reflective interchangeable signs. Additionally, it forms a continuous bottom "tapping" rail for blind pedestrians.

Component barricade system

Eastern Metal/USA-SIGN, Elmira, N.Y., manufactures System-98, a component barricade system that features 100% recycled PVC fluted blades, polythene upright posts and custom molded fittings. The fittings can be used interchangeably to build type I, II and III barricades, vertical panel channelizers in addition to custom barricade/signage applications. The system is ballasted by using one or more heavy-molded multi-use bases, that in many cases eliminate the need for costly and cumbersome sandbags. Used in combination, or individually, the common base serves to hold all varieties of plastic uprights. It can be purchased as completed individual barricades, as assembled barricade parts or as lengths and parts to be cut and assembled by the user.

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