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Bridge VMSs offer wind warnings

Right: Drivers of tall lorries get advance warning of strong winds across bridge

Eight new variable message signs have been installed on the approach roads to The Silver Jubilee Bridge between Runcorn and Widnes, UK. The signs link via Siemens Comet to a new wind sensor recently installed on the crossing to detect strong gusts, so that drivers of high sided vehicles can be alerted to bridge closures.

Stephen Rimmer, traffic manager for Halton, says the bridge currently carries over 90,000 vehicles per day in both directions over the River Mersey and traffic flow is sensitive to any disruption. “The new equipment will be set at two levels to detect gusting winds over 35mph [56km/h] and 50mph [80km/h]. Comet will then feed data to signs on both sides of the river advising drivers to either proceed with caution or not to use the crossing respectively," he says.

The Silver Jubilee Bridge experiences high levels of congestion at peak periods and faces significant maintenance problems. During strong winds last year, a vehicle was blown over on the bridge. 

1 May 2008



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