The A3 Hindhead Tunnel, opened for travelers in 2011 in Surrey, England is the longest under-land road tunnel in the UK. The strategic infrastructure located between London and Portsmouth is a 1.2 miles (1.83 km) twin-bored tunnel.
Essential maintenance work at the A3 Hindhead Tunnel was requiring regular closures taking approximately 25 minutes to deploy. Manual lane closures using cones were performed by road workers to direct fast-moving traffic away from a live lane.
Versilis was selected by National Highways in partnership with Kier and Highway Care to implement an Automated Lane Closure System on the north and southbound carriageways of the tunnel. Two series of SwiftGate HSG-40CW facilitate the lane shifts required as part of tunnel closure operations.
Versilis SwiftGate system is part of the UK’s first Automated Lane Closure System deployment at the A3 Hindhead Tunnel. Tunnel operators will use Versilis’ automated warning gates installed at both tunnel approaches to clearly and safely filter traffic out of the traffic lane during regular maintenance closures and incidents. This new system improves road worker safety by removing the need to manually mark lane closures.
As well as avoiding the need for workers to manually set out tapers, the highly visible gates will help prevent incursions, particularly at night-time. In 2019, there were 14 vehicle incursions into the tunnel roadworks putting the lives of workers at risk. A lane closure can now be deployed in 5 minutes using Versilis’ handheld remote control which increases maintenance operations’ efficiency while reducing disruption for road users.
“Installing and removing a taper of cones in the face of traffic exposes our road workers to risk, particularly on elevated sections of road, bridges or tunnels where there may not be an embankment or place of safety. [ … ] SwiftGate is another step to zero live lane working for our workforce as we work towards our goal of ensuring nobody is harmed while working or travelling on our roads.”
– Head of Lean and Continuous Improvement, National Highways