Construction firm Kier has announced it is to trial a new automated gate system designed to help protect road workers.
Construction News reports that the new SwiftGate device has been designed to reduce the need for personnel to place traffic cones amid traffic, according to National Highways, which has funded the project.
The trial of the new system will be at the A3 Handheld Tunnel in Surrey. The tunnel has seen multiple closures to allow maintenance work, and workers have needed to manually cone off the entrances.
In 2019, there were 14 incidences of vehicle incursion reported, which put the lives of workers at risk.
The new system places gates that filter traffic out of a lane so that cones can be placed on the other side of the gate, clearly marking out the closed lane. The gates provide a strong visual deterrent that will help mitigate incursions, especially at night.
Kier Highways senior project manager Mark Sheppard said that the SwiftGate project has allowed the firm to trial something that will modernise the standard approach to road worker safety.
“Traffic management installation can be a high-risk activity, so the opportunity to introduce an automatic solution that has the potential to remove the need to put our workforce in the ‘firing line’, is a worthy project,” he said.
Other trials being carried out by National Highways contractors include automated cone-laying machines.
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