Steel or aluminium gantries on highways have been the industry standard for decades, however there has been an issue around the negative impact of steel on the environment and climate.
Therefore Austrian Intelligent Transport Systems company Kapsch TrafficCom has developed the “Green Gantry”, an alternative hybrid design based on wood instead of metal that it says can reduce metal consumption to a minimum.
The Kapsch TrafficCom test track in Teesdorf in Lower Austria is now home to the first Green Gantry, which the company says sets new standards for sustainable infrastructure.
“The Green Gantry is comparable in quality and cost to a conventional gantry,” it says in a statment. “Since wood has up to a twenty-fold lower CO2 footprint compared to steel, the environmental impact is reduced with the Green Gantry compared to conventional gantries. Even when dismantling the gantry, it does not pollute the environment as no harmful chemical substances are used to treat the wood. In addition to its environmental benefits, the Green Gantry also meets all relevant European norms and standards and features a lifespan of over 20 years.
The statement continues: “To bring the Green Gantry to life, Kapsch TrafficCom initiated a research project that is funded by the Waldfonds, an initiative of the Austrian Federal Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, Regions and Water Management and is carried out as part of the Think.Wood programme of the Austrian Wood initiative. The research project is led by the Institute of Timber Engineering and Wood Technology at Graz University of Technology.
“Other research and development partners include laminated timber specialist HASSLACHER NORICA TIMBER and traffic infrastructure provider Forster. The design of the Green Gantry was developed together with the civil engineering firm freiraum ZT gmbh, which also calculated the structural framework.”
Kapsch TrafficCom says that over the next two years, the specifications and characteristics of the Green Gantry will be monitored at the site in Teesdorf as part of the project “in order to ensure impeccable quality performance in the future”.
(Picture – Kapsch)