Battling the elements to increase driver visibility on the A2

Battling the elements to increase driver visibility on the A2

When improving safety through visibility was identified as a top priority for planned resurfacing work on three sections of the A2, National Highways selected WJ Group to install high performance road studs and markings. The work resulted in the team battling the elements to ensure that drivers could access this vital length of the network.

The A2 is a critical road for both travellers and HGV drivers, connecting London to the port of Dover. Following news that three unlit sections needed to be resurfaced due to low friction levels and worn markings on both the east and west sides of the carriageway, re-establishing visibility on the road was essential.

The maintenance works were scheduled to occur on the A2 between Brenley and Boughton, Wincheap and Harbledown, and Nackington and Bridge. In total, 12,000m of road required the necessary repairs to reinstate and further enhance visibility due to the areas not having overhead lighting.

During the planning process, National Highways turned to WJ Group for its support in installing the line markings and road studs. With the challenge of creating high visibility for drivers in unlit areas, WJ Group set out to deliver this aim while battling the wet British weather.

Battling the elements to increase driver visibility on the A2

Selecting the studs

The three areas being resurfaced had no overhead lighting along the carriageway meaning high retro reflectivity markings and studs were critical to create optimal visibility.

To deliver long-lasting and highly visible road markings, WJ Group’s Weatherline was suggested. Combining safety, durability, and sustainability, the high-performance markings deliver exceptional visibility with over 250mcd of retro-reflectivity. With a lifespan in excess of five-years, the Weatherline range stands the test of time and creates a safer driving environment for road users.

For each of the three sections of the A2, an extrusion application method was chosen, resulting in a neat and defined line to guide drivers.

Alongside the Weatherline markings, SolarLite Flush solar road studs by Clearview Intelligence were installed. With a seven-year lifespan and charged using solar panels, the stud utilises LED lights to enable greater visibility when driving at night up to 900m. This distance allows for an increased amount of time for drivers to react to changes in the road ahead.

The combination of the Weatherline markings and the SolarLite Flush solar road stud meant that the proposed plan maximised visibility along the three sections of the A2 and mitigated the need for overhead street lighting.

Battling the elements to increase driver visibility on the A2

Battling the weather

Following the installation of 56,600m of road markings by WJ Group, the WJ team worked with subcontractor, Hi-Ways Services, to install the road studs. To limit the disturbance to the general public, it was deemed best that the installations should take place overnight, resulting in the crew experiencing heavy downpours of rain.

Speaking on the installation process, Dan Shoult, Contracts Manager at WJ Group, said:

“To complete the three projects, shifts were scheduled for ourselves and subcontractors Hi-Ways Service teams. The target was to install 150 studs per crew per shift, however, adverse weather conditions meant we were unable to meet this during some of the nights. Thanks to collaboration between the WJ Group and Hi-Ways Services teams, we were able to adjust our targets and install around 200 studs per shift per crew. As a result, we finished ahead of schedule even with several nights being missed due to the rain.”

In total, over 4,200 studs were installed along the three projects including 1,497 reds, 1,247 white, 1,113 amber and 354 green studs. Both the Weatherline markings and SolarLite Flush solar road studs will last until the road requires its next round of maintenance work in the coming years.

Dan said:

“The team battled through unfavourable conditions to ensure that the studs were installed ahead of time to reduce the inconvenience to the public. As a result, the combined effort now means that drivers can have more confidence driving along the A2 even in poor visibility conditions, being able to clearly see the route ahead without overhead lighting. Traffic can now run smoothly between the capital and Dover both day and night.”

For more information about WJ Group, please visit: https://www.wj.uk/