|For Immediate Release
September 17, 2010
District 4 Engineer
Public Information Office
|NHDOT Introduces Automated Flaggers For Traffic Control
Electronic Devices Promise Safety And Reduced Costs
The New Hampshire Department of Transportation has begun the limited use of automated traffic control trailers in an effort to make work zones safer for flaggers, workers and motorists while potentially cutting the costs of a daily flagging detail in half.
The NH Department of Transportation's
new automatic flagger in operation recently
on NH Route 10 in Swanzey.
Known as "Automated Flagger Assistance Devices" (AFADs), the AFAD trailers enable one person to control two-way traffic by remote control. This accomplishes two things - first, it reduces the need for flaggers by half, and for DOT worker it frees up one person who would otherwise be flagging to join the work activity; and second, the one operator can stand completely out of traffic, thereby greatly reducing the risk of injury.
The AFADs purchased by the NHDOT, under the brand name Auto-Flagger, have electronic "Stop" and "Slow" signs signals, along with hinged gate arms. They are also equipped with a high-decibel horn that the operator can activate to warn workers if an errant vehicle is entering the work area. Two units can be towed together.
AFADs are intended for use on roadways with one approach lane for short-term highway projects. They can be used together, one for each direction of traffic, or they can be used alone with a human flagger at the other end of the work zone, which can be up to a mile in range. NHDOT Highway Maintenance District 4 first used the new Auto-Flaggers this week on a road project on NH Route 10 in Swanzey.
Two sets of Auto-Flaggers were purchased through the state bidding process at $30,500 per set (two units per set). A study by the Minnesota Department of Transportation estimated the daily payback at $59.74 per two units.
Video of the Auto-Flagger in action can be seen at the following link: http://autoflagger.com/video/video_2006.html