Elsholz kerb to make pedestrian access safer in Millthorpe

UNDERPASS UNDERWAY: Work on creating safer pedestrian access to the western side of Millthorpe has begun.
UNDERPASS UNDERWAY: Work on creating safer pedestrian access to the western side of Millthorpe has begun.

Engineering fans take notice, there's something interesting coming up in the railway underpass on Forest Reefs Road in Millthorpe.

Known as an Elsholz kerb this simple yet effective piece of concrete may not be noticed by the 99.9 per cent of motorists and pedestrians that use the underpass, but when a vehicle hits it, the occupants will certainly feel it.

Unlike a normal kerb and barrier solution the Elsholz kerb is designed to bounce the vehicle back into the same lane, rather than careening over it and into the barrier, and potentially, the pedestrians.

Blayney Shire Council's Director of Infrastructure Services Grant Baker said that the barrier and kerb solution would be a first for the shire, but its use is fairly widespread.

"If you know what to look for you can find it along many traffic islands, kerbs and median strips on some roads where there's a real possibility of cars going over the top," Mr Baker said when the project was announced in March last year.

Dashcam vision of a car hitting an Elsholz kerb in Newcastle - Courtesy Newcastle Herald

Funded at a cost of $200,000 through the NSW Government Drought Stimulus Package, the majority of the work will be carried out by council staff, however the Elsholz kerb will require some specialisation and the barrier is different to what was originally proposed.

"The contractor has a specialist mould that they use and will be putting it down and because it's so effective we're looking at putting in a pedestrian barrier that's not as serious as the one that was planned," he said.

Traffic heading east and west is being automatically controlled during working hours along one lane, and the underpass will operate as usual during other times. Work is expected to be completed by the end of May.

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