Recycled tyres for road construction safety
The northern tier states in America suffer through long and harsh winters, leaving only a few months for construction of new roadways and maintenance of existing pavement. To add insult to injury, the freeze-and-thaw cycles play havoc with the pavement, opening wide cracks and creating huge potholes, requiring extensive construction activity to be completed during the few good weather months. Naturally, this activity aggravates road safety.
Annually, there are more than 100,000 crashes in work zones, resulting in injuries as well as property damage. While nearly 75 per cent of these workplace accidents result in property damage only, there are injuries and fatalities, both to the vehicle occupants and construction workers. More than 2,000 workers are injured in the work zone, with 100+ fatalities each year. Most states have doubled fines for speeding in work zones where workers are present.
At Federal level, the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) is responsible for infrastructure improvement and critical roadway safety regulations. The Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD), published by FHWA, defines the standards used by road managers and contractors nationwide to install and maintain traffic control devices on all public streets and highways, for routine traffic as well as during construction.
By Louis Rumao
Full text in PTA October/November issue