They are working on the support structures for a couple of roads that go
over a highway near my house. Under normal circumstances, one support
structure uses a metal guard rail to prevent vehicles in the left lane from
hitting the supports, the other one uses concrete barriers. In other words,
the guardrail and concrete barriers were not added as part of the
construction project, they are always there. OK, got the picture?
Now, at the job site with the metal guard rails, they added some concrete
barriers in the left lane and instituted a lane shift to move the vehicles
towards the right, away from the support structure. They then built a
platform that extends from the bridge support structure to the original
guardrail for the workers to stand on. There is no railing around the
platform, so a worker could theoretically fall off of the platform, but he
would land between the guardrail and the temporary concrete barriers, still
protected from the left lane traffic.
However, at the other job site, the one with the existing concrete
barriers, they did things differently. Once again they added concrete
barriers in the left lane and painted lane shift markings to move the
traffic to the right, but the way they installed the platform baffles me.
In this case, the platforms extends to _second_
set of concrete barriers,
the ones marking the edge of the shifted left lane. Once again there is no
railing, meaning that if a worker were to fall off of the platform, they
would land in the left lane with no protection from traffic.
The first day I drove by in the left lane, I was shocked to see 4 workers
on the platform within a few feet of cars going by at 65 MPH. From then on,
I've been moving over to the middle lane in that area because I don't want
to be the one responsible for killing the worker who happens to fall off
I'm very surprised that this is allowed, but it's been that way all week,
with workers on the platform each day.