Mind your post

Tara VanTimmeren / March 15, 2009

Highway 12 is a narrow, two-lane highway, winding through rolling hills with limited visibility, connecting the communities of Lodi and Fairfield in northern California.

Originally designed to help move agricultural products to market, Highway 12 has become an important and overused artery linking fast-growing San Joaquin County to parts of the East Bay, carrying considerably more heavy truck and passenger traffic than originally designed. This route is one of California’s most traveled, most neglected and most deadly highways, having been dubbed by the local press as “Blood Alley” after four fatal head-on crashes in the span of five days in March 2007.

One part of the problem is with vehicles, frustrated by being slowed down by heavy trucks, crossing the centerline to pass on the rolling highway. Existing double-yellow (no-passing) stripes and centerline rumble strips were deemed helpful but insufficient to stem the problem.

The California DOT needed to make additional quick and effective safety improvements and chose the FG 300 Model EFX Channelizer post from Filtrona Extrusion to create a barrier of flexible posts installed on 25-ft spacing to discourage vehicles from passing. The first installation was made on June 20, 2007, and covered five miles of the most dangerous section of Highway 12, followed by another long section a few months later.

Since the installation of the FG 300 EFX posts, traffic has slowed, and to date there have been no head-on traffic accidents, which is a great improvement in safety. Due to the resilience of the posts, replacement has been minimal. Plans are moving forward to apply the FG 300 EFX safety solution to other problem highways in the state.

The FG 300 Model EFX is a flexible, tubular post, or bollard, manufactured using a unique design and a special polyurethane chemistry that is so tough it is the first and only channelizer post in the world to carry a one-year warranty against breakage. The FG 300 Model EFX has been NTPEP tested and NCHRP 350 accepted by the FHWA for use on the nation’s highways.

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