Q: What is The Road Zipper System?

A: Lindsay Transportation Solutions’ flagship products are the QuickChange® Moveable Barrier (QMB®) and the Road Zipper transfer machine, together known as The Road Zipper System. The Road Zipper System consists of T-shaped moveable concrete road barriers that are connected to form a continuous wall and the transfer machine that “zips” the barriers laterally across roadways. The moveable concrete barriers are approximately 32 inches high, 13-24 inches wide, 3 feet long and weigh 1,500 pounds. The barrier elements are interconnected by very heavy duty steel hinges to form a continuous but moveable barrier. The Road Zipper transfer machine uses an inverted S-shaped conveyor that lifts the barrier, moving it laterally before setting it back on the road surface.

Q: How is the Road Zipper System used?

A: Both the moveable barriers and the transfer machine are used in tandem to create a “moveable” median on congested, gridlocked roadways around the world. The Road Zipper System uses existing space by moving the median on a regular basis to meet peak traffic flow.

Q: Can you provide an example of how exactly The Road Zipper System works?

A:  Assume that there are eight total lanes on a busy roadway going into and out of a city's downtown area. Four lanes in each direction. During morning rush, the four lanes leading into the city's downtown area are gridlocked with traffic. Now look across the road where the four lanes going out of the downtown area are virtually traffic free and underutilized.

With The Road Zipper System, a moveable median is used to create an extra lane going into the downtown area. Now, there are five lanes leading into downtown and three lanes going out of the downtown area. An extra lane of traffic has been created in the direction it is needed most. The system is simply reversed during the evening rush. Similarly, contra-flow lanes can be created to exploit unused lane capacity in the off-peak direction. The contra-flow lanes can accomodate HOV or HOT traffic.

Q: How fast can you move the moveable lane?

A:  The Road Zipper System can move the concrete barriers at a speed of up to 10 mph. The system can move one mile of barrier in six minutes.

Q: How much does it cost?

A: Costs depend on many variables, such as length and topography of the roadway, but a typical urban Road Zipper System project using dynamic lane technology with moveable barriers is a fraction of the cost of adding new lanes.

Q: How long does it take to implement The Road Zipper System?

A: Unlike the enormous costs and lengthy time of adding more lanes, The Road Zipper System can be implemented in months rather than years. It’s an immediate, affordable solution to today’s traffic gridlock. The Road Zipper System is simply more economical and faster than building additional lanes or roads. As a reference, bridges and tunnels can cost US$40 to $180 million per lane mile.

Q: How much commuter traffic time will it save?

A: Traffic congestion represents an economic burden that costs Americans billions of dollars in lost productivity and other costs. Timed saved sitting in traffic gridlock will vary by individual situations and circumstances. In Dallas, for instance, 14 minutes per person are saved per day by a Road Zipper System. In Honolulu, 25 minutes are saved per person, per day. The Road Zipper System has saved millions of commuter hours per year.

Q: Where is the system used?

A: The Road Zipper System is used to alleviate traffic congestion at hundreds of locations around the world, including Boston, Honolulu, New York, Philadelphia, San Diego, and Washington, D.C. in the United States; Auckland, New Zealand; San Juan, Puerto Rico; and Sydney, Australia.

Q: What are typical applications for The Road Zipper System?

A: Applications include high volume highways and bridges, where additional right-of-way may not be available, where environmental concerns may exist, or where there is insufficient funding to build new lanes today. The system is a cost-effective interim solution when considering expensive freeway expansion.

Q: Can The Road Zipper System be moved or used on different roadways?

A: Yes, when it is no longer needed, The Road Zipper System can be moved to other congested roadways and locations. It is a reusable asset.

Q: Besides cost and commute time, what are the other benefits of The Road Zipper System?

A: There are many other benefits. The Road Zipper System provides positive protection to oncoming traffic, reduces accidents, provides faster incident management response times, operates in all weather conditions, is environmentally friendly, and is easily adaptable to changing traffic patterns and changing commuter needs. In summary, The Road Zipper System helps move people around the world safer, faster, smarter . . . better.

Q: Can The Road Zipper System be used for construction?

A: The Road Zipper System is used around the world for construction and road works. By allowing contractors to reconfigure the roadway in real time, The Road Zipper System mitigates congestion, improves work zone safety and accelerates the construction schedule.