Collaboration with key stakeholders and the extended supply chain has enabled Saint Gobain PAM to develop a secure access cover system to prevent theft or sabotage of data and power cables for the new smart motorway section of the M3 between junctions 2 and 4a.
The scheme aims to ease the severe congestion that builds up on this section of the motorway by converting the hard shoulder to a permanent running lane.
Balfour Beatty will deliver the Highways England development, which will include the installation of fibre optic and power cables for the signals and CCTV cameras mounted on gantries and new message signs by subcontractors MWAY Communications.
Says Andy Kirk, Senior Project Manager from Highways England: “Monitoring traffic flow and providing driver information is vital to keep traffic flowing on a smart motorway, so it is essential that cameras and signage remain operational.
“To do this maintenance engineers will need access to cabling in the future, but equally we need to ensure that we prevent metal theft and potential sabotage of the cabling.”
The Saint Gobain PAM solution consists of its Opt-Emax access cover fitted with a five sided allen head bolt plus a high security fabricated steel sub-unit fitted underneath the access cover.
The complete solution provides protection to LPCB LPS 1175 issue 7 SR3, which is designed to resist a deliberate attack by an experienced assailant using bodily force and a wide selection of manual and power tools. It also provides protection against flammable liquids.
For asset owners and operators Opt-Emax provides fast, simple and reliable access for the future maintenance of underground networks. Its advanced hinge design reduces the risk of back injuries, while its load transfer system provides a durable solution for the lifetime of the installation.
Gary Postle, National Key Account Manager for Saint Gobain PAM said: “The development of this secure access solution is an excellent example of collaborative working, with all of the stakeholders working together in defining and reaching the final solution.
“Metal theft can be a major issue for the Highways England, not just for the cost of replacement but also for the disruption that it can cause. The ongoing consequences for a smart motorway, which relies on communication continuity, are even more serious.”