Glass roadside barrier

Highways UK has recognised a roadside barrier concept developed by Pilkington UK in its Civils and Materials Innovation Awards.

The barrier concept designed by Pilkington UK features a special coating that’s able to break down gaseous nitric oxide emissions from road traffic, while its lamination helps to reduce noise pollution.

The company, which hopes to arrange trials of the barrier, expects the combination of features to have a big impact on the health and wellbeing of communities that live near busy roads and motorways. The concept won the award scheme’s environment category against strong entries from infrastructure giant Balfour Beatty, and road marking specialists WJ-Group.

Meanwhile, the barrier’s self-cleaning functionality and hurricane-rated lamination make it a low-maintenance solution for highways authorities. It can also be screen printed with a pattern visible to birds – preventing them from flying into the reflection they see in the barrier.

While less common in the UK, highway barriers are often used across Europe to help protect against crosswinds. Pilkington Optiwhite glass manufactured at Pilkington Italia’s Venice plant was recently specified for barriers on Renzo Piano’s San Giorgio Bridge in Genoa, the replacement for the Morandi Bridge that collapsed two years ago.

Rory Back, R&D incubator technical manager at the NSG Group, said: “This recognition of our concept ultimately represents the increasingly expansive role that innovative flat glass can play in our built environment.

“£Billions are set to be injected into necessary UK infrastructure projects and much-needed housebuilding in the next few years, which is likely to put more of the population living within reach of busy roads.

“Our roadside barrier concept will help infrastructure planners and developers in meeting their obligations to the environment and the wellbeing of the communities they build by.”