ew safety measures put in place on a
Costain road-widening project to protect
both the site workforce and errant drivers
was featured on TV screens and in the press recently.
Special collapsible barriers, installed at Girton,
near Cambridge, as part of the A14 Junction 31-32
improvement scheme, achieved valuable minutes
of publicity on BBC Look East, ITV East Anglia News
and Heart Radio, as well as in the regional press.
The ‘crash cushion terminals’ have been erected
to help minimise the effects of drivers who fail to
heed road warnings and try to enter the worksite or
veer off course.
The new terminals are placed at the end of tem-
porary steel barriers at access and egress points to
the worksite and consist of steel beams enclosing a
series of metal partitions and plastic boxes.
If a driver realises he is about to mistakenly en-
ter the worksite and tries to swerve back on to the
main carriageway but hits the barrier end-on, the
internal structure progressively collapses,
helping minimise the impact.
Importantly, this barrier is designed to
keep the car on the ground. Hitting a con-
ventional steel tapered terminal end-on
can flip a car into the air, either on to the
carriageway or into the worksite – with ob-
vious risks to other road users in the first
case and site workers in the second.
The crash cushion terminals are already
in use on some schemes in the UK, but the
Highways Agency’s A14 project is the first
time that they have been used as part of
temporary barriers in the east of England.
The scale of the problem was pointed
out by the Highways Agency, Between
2009-13, eight road workers have been killed and
317 injured while working on or near motorways
and major A-roads in England.
Costain is adding an extra lane to the A14 dual
carriageway between junctions 31 and 32 in a
scheme designed to increase road user capacity
along the route.
Using “quality” and “proven” Welsh Slate has
“transformed” the roof of a Grade 1 listed church in
New crash barriers
being installed by
Costain on the A14
New Crash Barriers Hit
Contractors World UK & Ireland Vol 4 No 4
Out & About