The British Columbia government has selected Lindsay Corporation for the deployment of its Road Zipper System on the Alex Fraser Bridge to help reduce congestion. The bridge connects Richmond and New Westminster with North Delta in Greater Vancouver. The moveable barrier technology will replace an existing static concrete barrier to accommodate increased traffic flow during peak periods.
Opened in 1986, the Alex Fraser Bridge was designed to allow for the number of lanes to be increased. When it first opened, only four of the six lanes were used for vehicle traffic. As traffic increased, pedestrian and cycling lanes were moved to the perimeter of the bridge so that all six lanes could be utilized for vehicles. British Columbian officials will now re-stripe the lanes, adding a seventh lane along with the new counter-flow moveable barrier system to improve capacity and help reduce traffic congestion during peak periods. An average of 119,000 vehicles move across the bridge every day, and when this project is completed, officials say motorists can expect to save six minutes on their morning (northbound) commute and 12 – 16 minutes during the afternoon rush hour (southbound).
“Predicting traffic flow can be difficult – particularly if you’re looking 20 or 30 years into the future. The key to any design is building in as much flexibility as possible from the beginning, so you can efficiently accommodate the needs of a growing population,” said Chris Sanders, senior vice president of Lindsay Transportation Solutions. “Adding the Road Zipper System to this existing infrastructure is a cost-effective solution for greater efficiency and sustainability.”
Lindsay’s Road Zipper System consists of T-shaped moveable barriers that are connected to form a continuous wall. Using a conveyor wheel system, the Road Zipper transfer machine is used to re-position the median barrier at up to 10 MPH, creating a moveable “zipper lane.” When deployed on the Alex Fraser Bridge, it will create four lanes northbound and three lanes southbound during the morning rush hour. At all other times, there will be four lanes southbound and three lanes northbound.
“We are committed to finding solutions that will save commuters time and money,” said British Columbia’s Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Claire Trevena. “Installing a moveable barrier system on the Alex Fraser Bridge will bring much-needed congestion relief for commuters who frequently use this crossing.”