The Road Zipper is a two-part system for reducing traffic congestion: T-shaped concrete barriers (which the company calls a QuickChange moveable barrier, or QMB) that connect to form a continuous wall and a transfer machine that moves the barriers laterally across the pavement. The 1,500-lb. barriers are 32 in. high, 13 in. to 24 in. wide, and 3 ft. long; and connected by heavy-duty steel hinges. The transfer machine uses an inverted S-shaped conveyor that lifts the barrier, moving it laterally before setting it back on the road surface. The system can move one mile of barrier in six minutes.
The result is a moveable median that minimizes congestion by allowing transportation departments to quickly reconfigure existing roads as needed. For example, an eight-lane highway with four lanes in each direction in and out of a city can be reconfigured to provide five lanes into and out of the city during morning and evening rush hours. The company says the system saves Dallas commuters 14 minutes per day and Honolulu commuters 24 minutes per day. Other applications include high-volume highways and bridges where additional right-of-way isn’t available and as a cost-effective interim solution when considering expensive freeway expansion.
The system provides positive protection to oncoming traffic, provides faster incident management response times, and works in all weather conditions. In addition to Dallas and Honolulu, it’s used in Boston, , New York, Philadelphia (photo), San Diego, San Francisco, and Washington, DC.