Blakedale Newsletter JULY 2016 - page 2

Our Road Marker Posts division has
designed and manufactured a cost
effective solution for highlighting new
emergency refuge areas on the UK’s
growing network of Smart Motorways.
In a bid to ease congestion, Smart
Motorways convert the hard shoulder
into an extra running lane during busy
times. New emergency refuge areas
are therefore created between junctions.
Blakedale’s Advanced Warning
Maintenance Indicator (AWMI) posts
are designed to give advanced warning
to approaching drivers, maintenance
and winter gritting crews of the refuge
locations. They also protect stationary
vehicles using these areas by alerting
moving traffic to their whereabouts.
This new product is the result of a
collaborative partnership with Blakedale
customer, Costain, who approached us
to develop a solution after they were
appointed by Highways England to deliver
a Smart Motorway scheme running through
Derbyshire and South Yorkshire, in a project
worth over £200 million.
Mal Bell, Project Manager for Costain,
says: “Clear signals were needed to guide
motorists and maintenance crews safely
through the new layout and Blakedale’s
AWMI posts are a crucial part of this.”
The new AWMI posts utilise the familiar
shape of existing Motorway Type 1, Type
6A and Type 8B Distance Marker Posts,
but are distinguished by their high visibility
yellow/amber bandings and unique 100mm
diameter black and white retro-reflective
quadrant, which allow them to be seen at
day or night and in all weather conditions.
Carmen Bowley, Joint Managing Director
of Blakedale, adds: “We are delighted to
be involved so early in the introduction
of Smart Motorways in the UK. Since
developing this solution for Costain, our
AWMI post has generated a lot of interest
from other contractors working on similar
schemes and we look forward to seeing
it become a familiar feature around the
“Smart” thinking
Blakedale branches out
We are also delighted to report the success
of our Road Marker Posts division within
the renewable energy market.
Over the last two years we have supplied
500 snow poles and 2,600 cable route
markers to 13 Wind Farms, which are
operated by a number of the UK’s six main
energy providers. Wind farms are typically
based in remote and hilly countryside
locations, and for maintenance purposes
operators require year-round access.
Just as they do on the highways, our
1800mm and 3000mm snow poles act as
warning guides for drivers of maintenance
vehicles. They mark the edges and highlight
any hazards and bends along the rough
tracks leading to the turbines. We also
design them to be highly visible in severe
weather, including heavy rain, fog, sleet,
snow and whiteout conditions.
Our cable route markers are adapted
from Blakedale’s Fleximarker flexible
hazard delineator post, which we have
been manufacturing and supplying to the
highways industry for many years. Their job
is to identify the exact locations of the high
voltage cables from each turbine, which
are buried under the ground. They are
positioned approximately every 25 metres,
are brightly coloured and display warning
messages and important information.
Just like our traditional Fleximarker, our
cable route markers incorporate a flexible,
spring-back mechanism. This avoids any
potential damage from cattle or sheep
when they try to use them as scratching or
rubbing posts.
Additionally, as both types of posts are
manufactured from high impact polymer
based materials, they provide a robust
alternative to the timber posts sometimes
deployed by other wind farms
Blakedale Product Sales Manager, Paul
Durham, explains: “Unlike the highways
market, there is no uniform standard
for wind farms. However, with each site
costing millions to construct and maintain,
it makes sense in the long-term to invest
in more durable snow poles and cable
route markers that are critical to helping to
maintain site safety.”
Above: Costain
a 20-mile stretch of the M1 between Junction
28, Mansfield and Junction 31, Worksop, was the first Smart
Motorway to utilise the new AWMI post.
1 3,4
Powered by FlippingBook