12 Centrally Controlled Boom Systems on the Great Belt Bridge Reduce Traffic Chaos and Congestion
12 million. That's how many vehicles crossed the Great Belt in 2021, according to figures from Sund & Bælt.
During special events such as bridge runs, when half of the bridge needs to be closed, it's necessary to divert many drivers onto other lanes. Until now, this has required the use of sign trucks and disassembling guardrails, which has been cumbersome.
The same has been the case in accidents that have caused congestion and long waits, as traffic couldn't be redirected quickly in the opposite direction. But that's about to change.
"Where it used to be necessary to send out sign trucks for incidents such as accidents and roadwork, it is now possible to easily and quickly close lanes from an office chair"
– Thomas Majlund Thomsen, Automation Technician at CBRE Intego
In 2020, Sund & Bælt, the operator of the Great Belt Bridge, began a major project to both ensure faster traffic flow and increase safety for both drivers and employees by initially installing mobile traffic barriers.
As part of the project, KIBO Sikring, in collaboration with CBRE Intego, has delivered twelve centrally controlled boom barriers distributed along the entire stretch, with the final gate having just been installed.
Kan både vippe og dreje
- "It has been a very exciting task because these are not your typical boom barriers; they are rather special, customized boom gates, with the boom housing alone weighing no less than 1 ton. What makes these booms special is that they had to be programmed to both tilt and rotate so they can stop traffic and subsequently redirect it from two lanes to one – and that turned out to be a challenge", says Klaus Engebæk Hansen, Technical Manager at KIBO, adding:
- "The manufacturer of the booms could not provide the control system for the booms, as they usually do because regular boom barriers cannot perform these movements. Therefore, we chose to involve CBRE Intego, who have a department right across the road from us and with whom we collaborate daily. They have extensive expertise and knowledge of the hardware, software, and documentation program that the customer wanted, making them the right choice for the task – and at the same time, it allowed us to focus on the mechanics".
With the new booms installed, Sund & Bælt can now quickly and easily activate the individual boom systems along the stretch to close lanes both on-site and remotely from the control center:
- ""We are pleased to be able to conclude the project that we started a little over a year ago. It has been a unique task for us to handle the control of the booms, where, in addition to designing and building the control panels, we also had to program the system for controlling the booms based on the requirements for the installations", says automation technician at CBRE Intego, Thomas Majlund Thomsen, and he elaborates:
- ""In addition to the booms being able to operate in three different positions - thus tilt and rotate - what's smart about the new systems is that they can be remotely controlled via an SRO (Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition) center, which is a system for monitoring and controlling automated systems. Where it used to be necessary to send out sign trucks, for example, in the event of accidents and roadwork, it is now possible from an office chair to easily and quickly close lanes".
In addition to the new boom barrier systems delivered by KIBO and CBRE Intego, the project also includes 222 new digital signs. The overall project was completed in the summer of 2022.