Installing new lane studs on the Tamar Bridge
During this week we will be doing preparatory work for the new illuminated lane stud system on the main deck of the bridge. The new lane stud system will replace the old system which was removed as part of the recent resurfacing works.
The lane stud system supports the overhead gantry crosses and arrows that let us assign traffic lanes to suit traffic demand or respond to incidents. The new system replaces a very similar system that has been used on the Bridge and in the Saltash Tunnel for many years.
The lane stud system uses wireless inductive power in the same way as things like electric toothbrushes and contactless phone chargers. This means that the studs themselves do not need direct electrical connections and can be sealed to protect them from sources of corrosion like rain, ice and road de-icer.
The studs get their power from electro-magnetic coils embedded within the deck surfacing, and the lack of direct connections also mean that any damaged or failed studs can be replaced quickly without digging up the road surface. The studs themselves are very efficient and, although they each have 20 LEDs, they only use 2 watts.
The preparatory works involve cutting longitudinal slots in the bridge surfacing, followed by installation of the power cable and the 285 powered ‘nodes’ that generate the localised electromagnetic fields that power each of the studs. The cable and nodes are then sealed in place.
The works, which will be carried out overnight to minimise the impact on bridge users and the adjoining local communities, will begin this evening (Monday) and are expected to take up to six nights to complete. Once the power and control system has been installed, the studs themselves can be fixed to the road surface.
The installation works will require 2 lanes to be closed at a time on the main deck of the bridge, with lane restrictions in place between 8pm and 6am.
To enable the crews to carry out the works safely, the Saltash tunnel will be closed in an eastbound (Plymouth) direction each night, with traffic diverted through Saltash and over the north cantilever lane.
The South cantilever will be unaffected and will remain fully open to pedestrians, cyclists and mobility scooters throughout the works.