Concrete barriers in the median or along the verge of a roadway or bridge are never really noticed or considered until an unexpected collision brings one to the reality of what’s expected of these Vehicle Restraint Systems (VRS).
Rocla, part of the IS group of companies partnered with REBLOC, the international leader in Precast Concrete Road Barrier Technology, based in Austria, as exclusive license holder for their portfolio of products to the Southern African region.
The REBLOC system includes a patented coupling and tension bar system, cast into the concrete, creating a continuous barrier chain, capable of harnessing and distributing the large energy forces associated with a vehicle collision. European and South African codes, EU1317 and SANS 51317 respectively, provide a list of different collisions to be used by vehicle restraint system designers and roads Engineers. Accordingly, REBLOC has a range of products to accommodate this full list, from lowest to highest containment levels.
In order to be certified accordingly, it is a requirement that each barrier system be crash tested in order to observe critical data for each test scenario relating to barrier movement, passenger safety and also to confirm that the system does not break-up and thereby stopping the vehicle from passing through into oncoming traffic.
Casting all the components into the concrete section, ensures there are no loose parts or accessories requiring safe storage during construction and subject to theft or vandalism during lifecycle of the barrier system. After a collision with the barriers, a maintenance vehicle must realign the barriers into a straight line and then assess damage to the concrete section. Depending on the severity of impact / damage, the barrier can then be left as-is, repaired insitu or replaced with a new unit.
Justin Kretzmar, Group Sales Engineer commented “Replacement of barrier elements is generally only required if damage is such that the concrete has spalled to an extent that the reinforcement within the barrier is visible. It is critical that road designers consult the relevant SANS / EU code/s list of internationally recognized ‘Containment Level’ guidelines and assess the risk level for that particular road, with reference to this guide. REBLOC vehicle restraint barriers, have been crash tested in Europe with real vehicles in order to conform to the EN code requirements and also obtain, amongst other things, the ‘working width’ and ASI (Acceleration Severity Index) data, specific to each barrier system and containment level tested.”.
“Rocla have supplied the REBLOC systems on many projects across South Africa and Botswana, some of which have successfully sustained a considerable number of collisions. With the roads of South Africa constantly requiring increased safety for pedestrians and passengers alike, the REBLOC system, with its low maintenance and vandal proof design, is perfectly positioned to make our roads a safer place.” said Kretzmar.
Rocla barriers can also be utilised for security installations such as airports or railways, to block off road access for safety, illegal dumping or during construction projects and even for bulk material storage purposes.
Rocla is part of ISG which also comprises Technicrete.