Spring Creek, New Zealand; Roundabout and crossing barriers the preferred solution

19 Oct

Installing barriers at the Ferry Road active open level crossing immediately adjacent to the intersection with State Highway One (SH1) in Spring Creek, near Blenheim is part of the preferred solution to the problems proximity of the level crossing to SH1 brings to the table. The second is to construct a roundabout at the intersection with one of the crossing barriers on the roundabout itself to stop southbound traffic on SH1 to prevent left turns when the level crossing is activated for an approaching train.

This unusual design sees a level crossing barrier as well as flashing lights installed on SH1 to block traffic travelling parallel to the railway from entering the roundabout and turning left onto the level crossing. This barrier is co-acting with and designed to come down before the main level crossing barriers operate in order to create a gap in roundabout traffic. This means that traffic from the level crossing, especially long vehicles, should be able to safely enter the roundabout and clear the track as entry onto the roundabout is assured, thus avoiding blocking-back onto the crossing.

KiwiRail has been working with NZTA to design a roundabout layout that will also reduce level crossing collision risk. As part of this process, KiwiRail proposed that half-arm barriers might be safely installed at the railway crossing in conjunction with the new roundabout using a similar arrangement to state highway roundabouts at both Napier and Greymouth.

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