Roadside safety improvements
While the inventory of structures has increased, so has the inventory of Roadside Safety devices.
With the release of the "Yellow Book" (titled: Highway Design and Operational Practices Related to Highway Safety) in 1967 by AASHO (The American Association of State Highway Officials, created in 1964) , there has been a focus on the need to protect the motoring public from sustaining serious, possibly fatal, injury when in collision with roadside appurtenances.
Since the 1970’s, the City of Winnipeg has been gradually improving the roadside environment, either through specific Roadside Safety Improvement programs or by incorporating Roadside Safety designs into new or major rehabilitation projects. Since a considerable number of roadside safety improvements relate directly to structures, the Bridge Branch has the mandate to install and maintain these as well as those located within the City limits.
The most common roadside safety device is a guardrail. Where the installation of guard rail is impractical, or not possible due to site limitations, the devices used may be Energite barrels or G.R.E.A.T. (Guardrail Energy Absorption Terminal) Units. The objective of installing any of these devices is to mitigate injury for motorists whose vehicles may leave the roadway for whatever reason. Guardrails are installed to re-direct vehicles while Energite barrels and G.R.E.A.T.units are designed to absorb the impact of collision and thereby minimize injury.
Standard cross-sections have been developed for new bridge construction. This is visible in the recently completed Provencher Bridge and the Main and Norwood Bridges.
When a structure is scheduled for major rehabilitation (e.g. Maryland Twin Bridges, 2005-2006) the standard cross-section, with roadside safety features, is incorporated into the design.
Roadside Safety is therefore an integral part of new structure construction and major rehabilitation projects. Bridge Branch staff ensures that devices are properly installed and maintained. As technology changes or advances, other types of roadside safety devices may be incorporated into the Bridge Branch repertoire.