By next week,a 2.4-km stretch of the Mumbai-Pune Expressway will be protected with a new crash barrier that is expected to curb accidents as the Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation (MSRDC) completes the installation of a special wire rope imported from the UK.
The Brifen wire rope safety fence system will absorb the impact of vehicles crashing into the divider,thereby preventing accidents. The wire rope is known to guide wayward vehicles along the fence until they come to a halt.
Most accidents take place because drivers lose control over the vehicles,break lanes and cross the road divider. This rope can arrest the impact of the crashing vehicle. It works much better than crash barriers,which are easily damaged and cannot be re-used, an MSRDC engineer said.
The ropes are being installed between the toll post towards Pune and Kamshet tunnel. The wire rope costs Rs 4,200 per running metre,bringing the total cost to about Rs 1 crore.
Every Brifen rope has 21 wires of high-tensile carbon steel and has a usage guarantee of up to 18 years.
The technology,which has been put to use to improve road safety on highways in nearly 30 countries,is not new to India.
A few months ago,the state government had installed the Brifen wire rope system on a stretch of nearly 4-km stretch on the Pune-Nashik Highway.
The feedback has been good,so we decided to use this technology on the expressway as well. This technology has also been used in Haryana, the engineer said. About three weeks ago,the MSRDC started the ground work such as erection of poles for fixing these ropes. About a fortnight ago,the wire ropes arrived from the UK-based firm Hill & Smith. Now,the only work left is of weaving these wire ropes in the posts. It should be completed in the next four days, the engineer said.
To further reduce the scope for accidents on the 95-km expressway,MSRDC is also thinking of installing 100 CCTV cameras,expand the capacity of the expressway,set up a trauma care centre and a helipad,reduce the number of U-turns and build truck terminals at the two ends for drivers to rest.