Two years ago, a vehicle collided into the guardrail approach of the Longlands Bridge in Hastings, leaving the road, crashing through the barrier before becoming airborne, striking the opposite bank and plunging into the river below - resulting in the death of the driver.
Immediately after the fatality Aaron Campion, former Traffic Engineer at Hastings District Council, worked closely with George Eivers, Principal Design Engineer at Traffic Design Group, to design a system that would include as much barrier in the approach as possible to prevent further tragedy.
“It's a particularly tricky spot as there is a driveway right alongside the river,” explains George. “Ideally we would have liked to use an X-350 Terminal End but there just isn’t enough room. We looked at all possibilities - even moving the driveway. What we decided on was to get as much barrier in that location as possible to absorb the energy of any impact.”
“The design George and the Traffic Design Group came up with showed Nu-Guard® 31 steel post guardrail in an arch with the guardrail sitting on shelf angle brackets at the apex of the curve,” says Jeremy Mallender, Sales Engineer for CSP Pacific. “The rail goes from convex to concave and captures the vehicle in an impact. Council also wanted all the bridge rail replaced to bring the bridge and approaches up to current standards. We supplied all the barrier and posts for installation by the local Fulton Hogan team so the bridge could be reinstated ASAP.”
|“The idea of using the barrier in a curve increases the lineal meterage of Nu-Guard® 31 barrier in a similar area which should absorb impacts a lot better than a straight section of barrier like that in place before the crash,” adds George.|
In July this year, just over two years later, an almost identical impact occurred at the same location with a very different result. This time the barrier caught the vehicle and the driver walked away unscathed.
Council’s current Traffic Engineer, Tony Mills said, “It’s a good result for a bad situation. We never want to see accidents happen, but if they do it’s good to know the barrier did its job. I haven’t seen the Police report but I’m 99% sure the barrier saved this person’s life. The guardrail worked a treat.”
|“We were very relieved and pleased to see the Nu-Guard® 31 steel post guardrail operated as predicted,” adds George. “It caught the vehicle perfectly - a great result. Thanks to CSP Pacific for working with us to reinstate this location as quickly as possible - both times.”|