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Armorwire Rope Barrier System protects drivers in Dome Valley
 
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Principal: Transit New Zealand
Consultant: Beca International Ltd
Contractor: Transfield Services (New Zealand) Ltd
Location: Dome Valley, State Highway 1
Product: Armorwire Rope Barrier System (TL3) from CSP Pacific
 

Dome Valley
During the 2007 winter, Transit New Zealand requested Transfield Services Ltd to commence work on safety improvements to the stretch of road through Dome Valley on State Highway One just north of Warkworth.

The road through Dome Valley is a notorious stretch of highway, which has recorded an unacceptable number of fatalities and accidents over the years and has been of concern to many motorists in the Rodney area as well as those traveling North from Auckland.

Transit New Zealand decided it must do all it could to reduce the Dome Valley fatality rate and employed Beca International as a consultant to recommend safety improvements.

“There is nothing wrong with the road itself - it’s the drivers using it,” says Transfield Services Roading Engineer, Colin Dawson. “This is a high speed area, but there are also several corners and stretches which require careful attention with a reduction in speed and some motorists simply don’t drive to the conditions.”

As part of the safety improvements, Beca International recommended that the Armorwire Rope Barrier System be installed as a side barrier in areas of the road bordering steep drop offs. The Armorwire system is intended to prevent vehicles from going off the side of the road.

Transfield Services Ltd was the contractor appointed to install the Armorwire Rope Barrier System. The installation went relatively smoothly during very wet winter conditions. Three separate sections totaling 700 metres were installed in what was only the third time the Armorwire Rope Barrier System Test Level 3 (TL3) has been installed in New Zealand.

Colin Dawson said that CSP Pacific was very helpful throughout the installation.

“The product manager for CSP Pacific Armorwire System, Raymond Kuys, had his overalls on and gave us a hand to ensure the rope barrier was installed to deliver maximum safety benefit. We were grateful for his help,” said Colin.

“The advantage the Armorwire Rope Barrier System has over a steel rail barrier is the ease of maintenance. In the event of an accident, it will now be much more cost effective to replace posts - as opposed to replacing whole sections of steel rail,” Colin Dawson added. “Thankfully we haven’t had to do it yet!”

Colin Dawson also said that over the years, many motorists had expressed their concerns that a semi rigid guardrail side barrier could 'bounce' a vehicle back into oncoming traffic, which is why a flexible barrier was considered as an alternative. The NCHRP 350 approved Armorwire Rope Barrier System was selected as the ideal solution for Dome Valley.

 

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