Watch a Zipper Truck Reposition a Median in Heavy Traffic


(Video Link)


Zipper Trucks are amazing machines that quickly pick up and move 1,500 pound blocks of concrete that serve as median barriers on San Francisco's highways:

Each 30-ton, 58-foot Zipper Truck is driven by a two-person team. As it passes over the barrier system, a series of wheels gently lifts each block off the street, funnels it through an S-shaped curve under the vehicle, and deposits the block into the other lane. The entire bridge-rearranging process should take less than ten minutes. When it is completed in the fall of 2013, the $26.5 million project will integrate with the zipper system already installed along the new Doyle Drive, to create a seamless, safe approach to the Golden Gate.


Watch the above video showing a Zipper Truck cruising down Doyle Drive in dense traffic.

Link -via The Presurfer

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That looks amazingly dangerous for any driver not aware (soon enough) that it was there... and what damage does scraping concrete blocks across the road cause? Serious question - why aren't they doing this say from 1am to 5am where they can really reduce the risk of accident?
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@Paul its not very dangerous they would have signage to warn drivers, it doesn't damage the road because the truck lifts them off the road surface, and they do this before morning and evening rush hour because there's more traffic in one direction than the other.

the drivers seem more dangerous than the truck, driving in the left lane for no reason
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Also, this is not "dense" traffic for the Bay Area. That's about as light as it gets (including 2-3am); there's just a whole lotta people here.

It's also very safe if you think about it. The vehicle is moving with traffic, pulling the barrier to the right. So the lane doesn't exist behind it (no merging or avoiding it required), and it's moving too slowly to over take cars in front of it. Likewise, cars approaching from the other direction can't hit it because its on the opposite side of the barrier, traveling in a lane that doesn't exist for them. The only way you could collide with the vehicle or barrier is to purposefully sideswipe it (or accidentally I suppose if you suddenly lost control of your car).
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The current Tappan Zee bridge near where I live in Westchester County, NY, has a zipper which is in use every day. The Tappan Zee has 7 lanes; 4 are eastbound in the mornings, then 4 are westbound in the evenings (to accommodate NYC traffic). Very cool to watch.
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