New Road Products
Better Roads Staff
Including special coverage of the American Traffic Safety Services Association (ATSSA) 42nd Annual Traffic Expo and more World of Concrete introductions
A sound idea for safety is now an even more versatile tool for highway construction zones. An add-on accessory for the SonoBlaster, the mobility kit allows the award-winning work zone intrusion alarm manufactured by Transpo Industries to be used independent of other on-site objects. Upon initial introduction, the SonoBlaster system was attached to A-frames, barricades, security fences, traffic cones, barrels and drums often placed along road construction sites. The impact-activated device warns on-site crews and errant drivers simultaneously, blasting for 15 seconds a carbon dioxide-powered alarm measured at 125 decibels at a distance of 6 feet. Transpo recommends 15-25 SonoBlaster units be placed approaching and alongside any highway work zone. The SonoBlaster is a Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) NCHRP 350 Category II accepted safety device and, upon introduction, was recognized by Better Roads with a 2010 Top Rollout Award.
Mowing wide open spaces is difficult enough for road agencies and maintenance contractors in this era of tightened budgets. Trimming vegetation along guardrails, cable barriers and road signs? Yeah, right! Well, U-TECK has a solution that saves environmentally as well as fiscally. The WeedEnder is a non-vegetative treatment that eliminates the use of herbicides, particularly important in eco-sensitive areas nears streams and lakes. Not to be confused with landscape fabrics, the total system is made from recycled plastic bottles, and is often called “flexible concrete” due to its rugged nature. It is available in rolls measuring 1 to 6 feet wide by 250 feet long, and comes in asphalt color, with post cut-outs and conformed to roadway contour. The manufacturer reports WeedEnder can even be repeatedly driven over by trucks without damage. When roadside repairs or changes are required below or around the WeedEnder, the material can be rolled up, removed, and later re-installed without damage, says U-TECK. With a minimum lifespan of 15 years, WeedEnder is water-permeable, thus reducing stormwater runoff and slowing erosion. It is also flame-retardant, which could reduce the threat of roadside fires, the company says.
A machine control system than revolutionized jobsite equipment management is now applicable to more machine types working on road construction sites. Topcon Positioning Systems has upgraded its 3D-MC software to version 10.0 to allow wide concrete pavers, curb and gutter machines, trimmers and milling machines to be controlled via the same software used for crawler dozers, motor graders and excavators. With the newest edition of 3D-MC, a menu enhancement makes it possible to set the color of the surface in section/profile views independently of the plan view color, and enables grade transition markers on/off for both road and triangular irregular network (TIN) surfaces. Other software enhancements include info customization for all types of stakeout, visibility improvements to screen colors and fonts, quick selection of non-Topcon real-time kinematic (RTK) base stations, and upgrades to management of large topo survey data and auto-topo logging at high speed.
The new DP 200 EFX “City Post” from Pexco/Davidson Traffic Control Products is a channelizer post featuring a narrow footprint and is designed for quick replacement, rapid “easy spin” installation, superior rebound and durability. With a 3-inch-round polyurethane delineator, the one-piece post has no bolts or pins, and spins into an embedded anchor cup for quick and safe installation. Available up to 48 inches tall in white, yellow, orange and black, the DP 200 meets MUTCD and NCHRP 350 requirements for channelizing devices and was tested at high speeds by the Texas Transportation Institute (TTI).
Pedestrian-activated RRFB systems from TAPCO feature large, 7- by 3-inch LED arrays that exceed Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) standards. When activated, the SAE J595-certified LED arrays flash an FHWA- specified, alternating “wig-wag” pattern. Side-mounted LED arrays flash concurrently to advise pedestrians that the units are flashing. RRFBs have produced 80- to 90-percent driver compliance in yielding to pedestrians at high-risk uncontrolled crossings, according to the company.
Western, Fisher, Blizzard
Western, Fisher and Blizzard adjustable-wing snowplows allow operators to put the snowplow into the most efficient positions needed to get the job done. In narrow areas, an adjustable-wing snowplow can be used as a compact straight blade. In large, wide-open areas, the wings can be expanded to provide a larger plowing path. When plowing with the blade angled, the leading wing can be angled inward to direct snow right to the heart of the blade, eliminating “spill off” that can occur with a normal straight blade or V-plow. Adjustable-wing snowplows can also be put into “scoop” position, with both wings angled inward, to give the operator the ability to effectively contain snow. In scoop mode, they also can fully angle right and left, to help control spill-off and reduce clean-up time.
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