Why do kerb lintels break or fail after installation?
The NSW Transport Roads and Maritime provide the specifications for stormwater drainage lintels that need to be used on roadways with two options provided which are;
- Wet cast lintels used for stormwater purposes with steel reinforcement using wet cast concrete.
- Lintel and full kerb units used for stormwater purposes with reinforced concrete.
For some corners heavy vehicles are ‘clipping’ the corner or verge where a precast lintel is installed very regularly due to local road conditions. Damage to a lintel is rarely a singular event and the damaged lintels are often proof of this. The reason ‘clipping’ may occur is due to different factors including;
- The roadway is too narrow.
- High traffic volumes or standing traffic restrict a heavy vehicle from performing a wide swing across the other side of the roadway to complete their turn.
- The corner radius is too small for the vehicle that is attempting to make a turn.
- There is a change of traffic use.
- There is an incorrectly rated lintel installed at the site.
- Poor driving standards or efforts to avoid mounting the kerb.
- Road blisters prevent the heavy vehicle from using a path to prevent clipping the kerb.
- The proximity of traffic light poles, safety cameras or other potential obstructions require the heavy vehicle to ride over the kerb to negotiate the corner safely.
What issues do broken kerb lintels create for local councils?
When local councils have broken kerb lintels it creates a wide range of local management problems directly & indirectly. Some of those include;
- Local repair & road maintenance costs are increased – typically each council will want to provide as little remedial work as possible for streets or roads.
- Resources required to identify, manage & execute repairs – it is important to consider the end to end cost for each council to deal with these types of issues. Human resources are needed to field calls about repairs required or identify them from local inspections. Other departments they have to generate budget approvals, procure suppliers & ensure the repairs are completed. So it isn’t just the cost of the lintel repair that has to be considered.
- Local pedestrian safety – as you can see in the images above, the damage to the lintel poses a safety hazzard for pedestrians if they were to walk on or near the kerb. If the pit is exposed, a person could step or fall into it.
- Traffic hazzards – pieces of concrete or metal may find their way onto the street or roadway which can cause traffic hazzards.
- Drainage issues or flooding – in many cases when the kerb lintel fails it blocks the drainage aperture size as the broken pieces block the drain or debris builds up. During heavy rain periods water can then gather in the area rather than flow into the drain system as designed.
How did ENCAT design a solution to kerb lintel replacements?
Australian Innovation Patent
Encat Engineering Pty Ltd - A cover plate for a roadside drain.
At ENCAT we solve civil engineering problems using a common sense approach & manufacture products that are designed for long term use. We designed our patented kerb lintel so that it could be installed onto an existing site, either straight or on curves, and handle heavy vehicle loads without crumbling or collapsing. It even includes an anti-lift feature that withstands the enormous lifting pressure experienced when truck wheels rub right against the lintel.
The design is simple to install which reduces labour costs & repair times & the finished product only costs around half of a concrete version. It’s durable, galvanized, long-life metal finish will not rust or weaken and it includes an anti-slip checkerplate top facing to keep pedestrians safe.
This can completely transform a Council’s road and kerb maintenance program. Our lintels have been installed in multiple locations and have required no repairs and are still in place today.
Can a kerb lintel handle heavy vehicles driving over them?
Our kerb lintel design had a single purpose in mind – withstand a heavy vehicle driving over it multiple times. So that means a bus, semi trailer or heavy vehicle can driver over it and the lintel will withstand the pressure & force exerted on it.
Normal pre-fabricated kerb lintels just aren’t designed to take that sort of punishment and our solution was designed in our manufacturing facility in NSW.