Truck-mounted attenuators (TMAs) were hired by Altus Traffic from Kennards Hire Traffic in Melbourne for a traffic management application during the M1 West Gate Bridge upgrade.
The attenuators were used to create a mobile barrier ‘line of steel’ to protect workers during the bridge upgrade by Altus Traffic, which was responsible for the traffic management on the project.
Altus hired the attenuators from Kennards Hire to supplement its own TMAs to meet the requirements of the West Gate Bridge Strengthening Alliance comprising of VicRoads, John Holland, SKM and Flint Neill.
VicRoads congratulated the Alliance ‘for seeking ongoing safety innovation during road construction works on a challenging site’, in its Worksite Safety Update bulletin.
According to the bulletin, work on the bridge railing was protected from traffic by utilising temporary safety barriers and screens for the majority of the project, while TMA protection was provided for short term works where barriers were not practical.
Speed limits were reduced to 60 km/h to reduce barrier deflections under impact because of the narrow clearance behind the barriers, and to 40 km/h when pedestrian workers were present and not protected by barriers.
For the better part of the project, concrete and steel barriers were deployed with anchored steel barriers in areas where weight restrictions were necessary. Towards the completion of the project, the temporary barriers had to be removed in preparation for the opening of five traffic lanes in both directions.
The mobile barrier ‘line of steel’ approach using the truck-mounted attenuators was employed to protect construction personnel during the removal of the barriers and the additional works to prepare for the opening of the five lanes.
First used on the South East Metro Eastern Freeway permanent barriers installation project, the concept was further enhanced by the West Gate Bridge Strengthening Alliance and VicRoads Road Services across the bridge with up to 6 TMAs deployed with works and incident response vehicles acting as shadow vehicles for additional protection.
This approach provided a line of vehicles on the bridge to protect and isolate pedestrian construction personnel working in the adjacent left lane from passing traffic.
Kennards Hire Traffic operates equipment hire centres in Queensland, NSW, Victoria, South Australia and Western Australia.