Concrete barriers on M-Ways - Why the change?

  Input Overload 09:30 14 Mar 2012
Locked
Answered

I've noticed up & down the county there is a lot of work replacing the steel barriers on the central reservations & on the M5 yesterday bridge pier protection now being done with concrete walls.

They seem to take up less room & maybe cheaper? But is there another reason for the change I am unaware of?

They don't seem to be overly reinforced though just a couple of wires in them & I was wondering how they stand up to a fully loaded HGV compared to steel which as I remember used as even if several posts holding the steel broke it would still act as some kind of long ribbon.

There must be a good reason as concrete barriers are becoming commonplace.

As you can no doubt guess I was bored & spend some time wondering about this esp while driving at 50mph or much less in the sections being replaced.

  interzone55 09:51 14 Mar 2012
Answer

I don't particularly like these concrete barriers, because I feel very vulnerable when driving in the fast lane.

I think the main reason for the introduction is cost.

Armco isn't cheap, and after even a minor bump it has to be replaced, because when damaged it loses strength. The concrete barrier can be repaired.

One good thing about the concrete is that it blocks the blinding glare of the xenon headlights of oncoming traffic...

  Input Overload 09:57 14 Mar 2012

I noticed the advantages of blocking oncoming lights a few weeks ago. As I see it they were able to squeeze half a lane out of removing the reservation on some widening on M1 & replacing with concrete.

But you don't have a lot of room with the barrier next to you next to you in the outer lane I agree.

  Quickbeam 10:00 14 Mar 2012

They're only to deflect the vehicle back onto the carriageway, thus avoiding an extremely costly bridge repair.

Armco was first put in front of the bridge piers about 20 or so years ago on account of the number of high speed car suicides into the bridge structures I seem to recall.

  Quickbeam 10:01 14 Mar 2012

Another advantage is that you're not dazzled by oncoming headlights due to the hight of a solid wall between opposing outer lanes.

  Input Overload 10:02 14 Mar 2012

Thank you.

  Quickbeam 10:06 14 Mar 2012

That sounds like you're surprised to get one of my sensible answers!

  Quickbeam 10:16 14 Mar 2012

Can anyone else remember when you could do a U turn on our motorways?

  1. There was no central barriers &
  2. The the oncoming traffic had long enough gaps in it to do one!
  Bingalau 10:25 14 Mar 2012

Quickbeam. I can't remember that. You would of course, have been breaking the law.

  interzone55 10:50 14 Mar 2012

On a stretch of the M6 past Lancaster there used to be a gap in the central reservation. I believe it was left for a farmer who had fields on both sides, so he could nip across early in the morning...

  Quickbeam 11:06 14 Mar 2012

Bingalau &

  1. It was considered OK to do so despite the clear rules as you joined!

But not by me, I remember my dad doing it with all the family in when he missed a turn some time in the early '60s.

alan14 I bet he wouldn't dare now, even if the gap was still there for him.

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