ROADS & BRIDGES looks at products introduced at Traffic Expo 2002
Exhibitors at Traffic Expo 2002, held Feb. 10-12 in Dallas,received free commercial time during the new product press conference. The following is a complete summary of items aimed at improving work zones across the country.
One-piece extendable barrier
The Safe T Gate from GTM Canada, Larval, Quebec, is an
extendable barricade that is compact, ergonomic, quick to set up and offers
high visibility for work zones and sign display.
Extendable up to 7 ft, it is made of high-density
polyethylene and is highly visible due to 52 separate high-grade reflective
strips spread over the surface of the unit. Each of the two bottom legs accepts
up to 20 lb of sand or water for stability.
Speed limit system
International Road Dynamics, Sas-katoon, Sask., now offers
the Speed Ranger Variable Speed Limit System to address safety concerns in the
approach area leading into work zones. It automatically displays required speed
limits on a series of signs based on current traffic, weather and construction
The system consists of a series of portable trailers each
with a self-contained power supply, traffic monitoring sensor, system
controller and speed limit signage.
Striping systems, accessories
LineDriver, manufactured by Graco Inc., Minneapolis,
connects to new or existing walk-behind stripers, converting it to a
high-production ride-on system delivering precise, consistent stripes in half
the time while reducing operator fatigue.
With forward speeds up to 10 mph and reverse speeds to 6
mph, most jobs can be completed in half the time. The unit helps maintain
striping speeds within 1?10 mph to deliver precise, consistent and
The company also manufactures LineLazer III which features
the new Smart Control Tracking System that monitors, tracks and displays every
aspect of a striping job including striped distance and materials used.
Lafarge Road Marking, Montgomery, Pa., manufactures the new
ColorLine Preformed Thermoplastic that comes in nine standard colors, in
addition to custom color matching, along with CAD-designed laser cutting, to
allow the creation of custom pavement marking logos, symbols, legends and
messages in a durable marking material that provides continuous
retroreflectivity for the three- to four-year life of the product.
The company also now offers the Sahara fast-dry technology
which allows waterborne paints to be used as durable road markings that can be
applied with waterborne trucks.
Lane separation system
The Flexi-Guide 300 Curb System from Davidson Traffic
Control Products, Tacoma, Wash., is designed to provide an economical system
for restricting motorists from driving around lowered crossing arms near
at-grade railroad crossings.
A unique picket-fence structure keeps vehicles in designated
lanes and provides an increased visual barrier and effective physical deterrent
to lane crossing.
The system also can be used for work-zone lane separation,
traffic calming, bike and pedestrian lanes, round-abouts and traffic circles.
Pavement marking unit
The 2K Detail Rig from EnDiSys, Rogers, Minn., is a
self-contained pavement-marking unit small enough to fit in the back of a
pickup truck but with enough capacity to run for a full day. Combined diesel-driven
electrical, pneumatic and hydraulic utilities ensure accurate temperatures,
pressures and mix ratios at the airless spray nozzle, while keeping the
operation sound below 80 decibels.
At the core of the unit is the Graco Viscount II hydraulic
proportioner providing a 2:1 resin to catalyst mix ratio. Three balanced severe
duty pump lowers can deliver up to 3,500 psi and 31?2 gpm at 40 cycles
Flex-Vest is a foldable and durable product engineered to
simultaneously cover, protect and alter traffic signs without the use of tools.
Manufactured by Contour Tek Inc., Ottawa, the covers eliminate the need to
remove and reinstall signs, and erect new signposts—ultra-light signs
slide easily into the cover’s transparent pocket.
The durable product is available in various sizes and
mounting configurations for square, rectangular and diamond-shaped signs.
The Premark ViziGrip pavement marking system from Flint
Trading Inc., Thomasville, N.C., provides public agencies with a low-cost
safety improvement that complies with a new section of the 2000 MUTCD. The unit
is designed to comply with MUTCD 2000/Section 3A.03 which refers to
“consideration should be given to selecting pavement marking materials that
will minimize tripping or loss of traction for pedestrians and
The ViziGrip system offers high retroreflectivity, initially
and throughout the product’s lifetime. It can be used for bicycle and
handicap markings and is available in any other shape including crosswalk
Safety vest tapes
New Brilliance Vest-Lite apparel tapes from Reflexite
Americas, New Britain, Conn., are available in fluorescent lime yellow and
white and are 30% lighter than other microprismatic material currently
available. Product en-gineering developments and field tests have found that
the reduced weight and improved drape of the tape make it much more comfortable
for the wearer.
The company also manufactures the Brilliance Comfort product
designed with perforations in order to further combat heat stress by enhancing
the trim’s breathability in addition to reducing its weight. The tape
looks similar to common glass bead products and is much brighter than
competitive tapes made with glass beads, typically reading more than twice the
The EH Striper from Linetech Design and Manufacturing Ltd.,
St. Catharines, Ont., combines the advantages of a walk-behind striper and a
stencil truck. This combination allows one operator to efficiently handle a
wider variety of painting jobs than other machines.
Powered by a whisper-quiet electric generator, the
unit’s sound output is less than 60 decibels allowing for operation day
or night in any location.
The power unit fits any pickup truck and feeds paint to hand
guns on multiple reels—up to five—to reduce flushing during color
Fifteen years of research and development yield a
dramatically improved Lifegard II channelizer from Plastic Safety Systems,
Cleveland. The channelizer has two ballasting methods available—an
internal snap-on molded rubber base or a patented external tire collar.
The internal snap-on molded rubber base can be attached and
removed easily by workers yet it holds up to stresses and impacts in the field.
The tire ring ballast system features specially engineered profiled gussets in
the lower drum for improved release upon impact.
Portable traffic signals
Scottsdale, Ariz.-based Traffic Tech-nology Inc.
manufactures a new series of work-zone portable traffic control signals based
on its Unilight patented single lens LED design. The lights display three
colors and internationally recognized signals through a single lens and
This design permits the production of the smallest and
lightest possible 12-in. LED traffic control signal. Its application to
work-zone signals permits long operation on battery power—with an
optional solar recharge—and ease of transportation, delivery,
installation and stabilization.
The Trailer Attenuating Cushion from Road Systems Inc.,
Stow, Ohio, utilizes a revolutionary tube-bursting concept and is designed to
protect the trailers that support arrow panels and changeable message signs.
TAC utilizes an impact plate and two mini-tube bursters
making the system energy absorbing. During end-on impacts, the vehicle forces
the mandrel portion of the TAC into the end box beam sections causing the tubes
to burst. The four walls of each end tube are then peeled back.
The TAC has met all of the requirements of NCHRP 350 for
both small 1,800-lb cars and 4,400-lb light trucks and is being submitted for
approval by the FHWA.
The King Block from Trinity Industries Inc., Centreville,
Ohio, is a composite guardrail block that weighs only 8 lb, has self-hanging
fingers, self-aligning side rails and a W-beam support bracket. Environmentally
correct construction with a consistent recipe of contents assures that strength
and durability of each block will not vary.
Trinity also manufactures the O-Post which is a single-ply,
lightweight guardrail post incorporating several technologies that allow
material efficiencies while producing a strong and corrosion-resistant unit
that meets handling and installation challenges. A roll-formed shape makes
handling easy and it inserts comparable to similar posts retaining its shape
through gravel, road base and asphalt.
Chami Design of Tacoma, Wash., offers a new line of safety
apparel consisting of two designs both of which incorporate innovative fabrics.
Style #572 INH-FR is a high-visibility and inherently fire-resistant vest that
is ANSI/ISEA 107-1999 compliant. Utility workers who may be exposed to electric
arc can use the self-extinguishing vest.
The other vest, Style #439-LtWt-3D, is a vest that is made
with a lightweight fabric yet it is heavy-duty, breathable, impact absorbing,
100% recyclable and ANSI/ISEA 107-1999 compliant. Unique knitting allows for
perspiration to wick from the users body to the outside of the fabric.
Traffic info system
Intellizone is an intelligent integration of traffic
sensing, data analysis and variable message sign communication designed to
improve work-zone safety by notifying drivers well in advance of slowed or
stopped traffic ahead.
Manufactured by Chicago-based Quixote Corp., through its
Quixote Transportation Safety subsidiary, Intellizone is a modular system that
consists of three portable traffic sensor units per lane of traffic, two
variable message signs and a mobile control unit. The sensors gather one minute’s
worth of data and transmit the data wirelessly to the MCU. The MCU takes five
minutes of readings from all sensors and creates a rolling average of traffic
volume, occupancy, speed and other factors. It then communicates data via
cellular or RF line- of-sight transmission to two VMSs located two miles before
a work zone, and another at five miles. These signs provide text messages based
on current traffic conditions rather than traditional static signs.
Road sign covers
Sign Socks Inc., Atlanta, offers the Signsock sign cover, a
safe, quick, durable and affordable solution to the problem of covering road
signs in highway work zones. The covers provide an alternative to previous
methods—plastic bags and plywood, for example—for covering road
Constructed of UV-treated poly-propylene fabric, the
crashworthy sign covers resist tearing or sagging and are designed to be
fastenable to cover the entire sign.
R.C. Flagman is a remote-controlled, solar-powered, portable
traffic control device designed to regulate two-directional traffic flow on a
single lane in construction work zones. Manufactured by R.C. Flagman Inc.,
Welland, Ont., the mechanical flagger reduces flagger costs and can improve
safety by removing one-to-two workers from the flag position through the use of
re-mote control or timer.
The unit consists of a two-head traffic light and parking
lot-style gate arm mounted on wheels. An 8-in. amber light indicates to the
motorists to proceed with caution through the work zone. A 12-in. red light,
positioned 12 ft above the ground, provides better visibility to motorists at a
greater distance from the work zone. The 10-ft-long gate arm ensures positive
vehicle control and provides an additional safety barrier for the construction
The Sunray Street Machine is a full-featured LED message
trailer designed for city streets and is available from U.S. Traffic Corp.,
Sante Fe Springs, Calif. Using full matrix, four LED/pixel sign technology
combined with a smaller, compact trailer frame, the unit addresses the need for
advanced messaging capability in both urban and major roadway situations.
Traffic management and law en-forcement officials may find
the unit ideal when space is limited, but high-visibility messaging is
The Street Machine provides a large 48- x 96-in. sign that
can display over 300 pre-programmed permanent and operator-created messages and
graphics. An electro-hydraulic mechanism raises and lowers the mast while an
electric actuator provides 120? tilt of the solar panel. The sign
panel’s maximum height is over 10 ft, but it’s only 80-in. high
when readied for storage or travel.