Applications and Innovations
Better Roads Staff
“It might have taken an hour and a half or an hour and 45 minutes to do what can be done in an hour and 15 minutes,” Bloschock says.
The sheer size of a mobile barrier such as the MBT-1 assists with limiting traffic disruption to get workers in and out. This barrier can be as little as 42 feet long or can be put into 20-foot sections to become as long as 102 feet, he says. Traffic flows by the barrier trailer better than through an unprotected work zone, notes Walt Black, a retired equipment manager with the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT), who now works as vice president of equipment for Mobile Barriers. CDOT used the mobile barriers during guardrail repair work on I-70 through Denver. “With the trailer on site, motorists can’t look into the work zone, so it cuts down on rubbernecking,” Black says. “Since [motorists] can’t see into the work zone, they just drive on.” This helped CDOT repair 42 sticks of guardrail on I-70 in the time it usually takes to do six to eight sticks of guardrail. “It took about seven hours to do 42 sticks,” Black says. “It normally would have taken 32 to 40 hours. It was completed it one night, where it typically would have taken a week.”
NTTA’s Wood adds that although this type of mobile barrier technology is “relatively new technology,” it’s just starting to come into the mainstream. “You will definitely start seeing more of it,” Wood says. “It just makes sense.” The NTTA has two mobile barriers and will soon have access to a third through a new eight-year contract with the Maryland-based contractor Roy Jorgenson to work on the George Bush Turnpike. “We required the contractor to purchase a mobile barrier,” Wood says. “We feel very strongly that the safety is well worth the expenditure. There will be lane closures for our IT department to work on the toll collection equipment in bucket trucks. Mobile barrier trailers will provide positive protection when our employees are out working. Everybody should be protecting their employees and providing positive protection for them.”
For an MBT-1 overview, go to mobilebarriers.com/specs.htm