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PostPosted: Thu Nov 14, 2019 4:41 pm 
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Smartification works on the M27 at J4 has seen these columns on the left being disconnected from their supply, and they now have "DEAD" painted on their bases in green paint. The embankment behind them has been cleared and is being excavated back. The columns behind the camera have been rigged up with a new temporary supply connected via a waterproof box screwed to the base of the columns, with the supply cables running up the embankment in orange trunking.

On the other side of the carriageway all of these columns on the left are also marked "DEAD" except for the last 2 mounted on the edge of the retaining wall of the overbridge in the far distance. I suspect they are also disconnected, but are too high up to be marked.


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 20, 2019 4:55 pm 
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Further to my last, all the columns pictured here on the LHS carriageway, forward to where the lighting ends just before J5, have now been removed.


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 28, 2019 6:57 pm 
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The east side of J4 of the M27 is now unlit. All verge mounted columns have either been removed or disconnected. There is still working lighting on the slips to and from the M3, the central reservation lighting, west of the M3 north bound overbridge, is also still in place and working.


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 23, 2019 8:19 pm 
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In addition to a number of columns on the M3 which were found to have corroded mounting studs being chopped down, which were installed in around 1991/2, a number of columns on the M3/M27 link roads which are slightly newer (about 1994) have also been chopped. Lighting that only lasts 25 years before structural failure; that is very poor.


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 02, 2020 2:52 pm 
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A trip along this section at the end of of 2019,  showed that 26 columns have been removed from the central reservation, with 52  still standing, so a 3rd have been removed. Some dash cam footage, unfortunately the weather was dull and gloomy.

At the start of the lighting near J13, a large section with columns removed. Next central reservation columns are by the overhead gantry in the distance.

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Another section further south, with a big gap in the columns.

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 19, 2020 8:58 pm 
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M27 J12 has seen more Lumas removed recently, presumably following more safety checks given the design flaw which causes them to fall from columns. Lanterns are missing from the twin bracket columns on the central reservation, as well as the single bracket columns on the link/slip roads.


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 28, 2020 6:54 pm 
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On the west side of J4 of the M27, the most western section of lighting on both carriageways (around 10 columns on either side) has either been switched off or there is a control fault. Lighting now ends at the end of the M3 slips merge/diverge point.

On the east side of the junction, the westbound carriageway in the roadworks has mobile generator powered temporary lighting installations on the verge at the northbound M3 slips. There are around 6 such installations.

At J5 on the eastbound carriageway, there are similar installations on the off slip only.


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 30, 2020 5:35 pm 
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It appears that the outage of the lighting on the west side of J4 mentioned in my last post was due to a control failure. This morning, despite passing through the section later (but still well before dawn), the lighting was operational.


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 13, 2020 7:30 pm 
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The column that collapsed on the M3 did not appear to fail at the studs bolting the column to the concrete foundation. Instead, it appears the failure happened at the weld between the column and the flange plate.

Not Hampshire, but two nights ago I heard that there were four lighting column failures nationwide on Highways England network where columns collapsed (yes, four in one night!). One of these was on the A31 by St Leonards Hospital in Dorset, where a 1970s S&L column collapsed onto the parallel service road, hitting overhead power cables on the way down but fortunately not injuring anybody. Another was at M4 junction 15, where a 1980s British Steel column collapsed onto the verge. In both cases, the columns failed around the weld at the shoulder between the column base and main shaft. As a precaution, several other columns were chopped immediately following the incidents, just like on the M3. I think they put it down to strong winds, but a structurally sound column shouldn't blow down in the wind. One which is corroded on the other hand will do so.

It seems Highways England and their contractors have an insufficient inspection and testing regime. They should be condemning columns before they collapse on the road rather than afterwards. It seems also that the issue is with corrosion not visible from the outside of the columns but visible on the inside of the columns, thinning the steel down. I don't know, if it isn't Lumas falling off Highways England columns, it's the columns themselves falling down.


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 13, 2020 9:30 pm 
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I did wonder about the M3 column failure mechanism. The cut down columns clearly all have their fixings still intact, so I did wonder if the flange failed. Given there are no gusset plates and the difference in thickness between the plate and shaft, it does seem an obvious weak point - although 30 years of road salt won't help.

Not surprised the A31 column failed from corrosion as it has an open/wrong size door fitted to it. The failure caused widespread traffic disruption that lasted well into the afternoon as the cables had to be recovered in stages.

Failure at the column shoulder is a well known structural weak point. Even on a new columns, a violent impact from a collision will often cause the tube to separate from the base, especially since newer columns are welded at this point. The shoulder of the base will naturally be thinner as the metal has been shaped at that point.

S&L columns avoided this by swaging the joint between the base and tube. I believe cold swaging was originally used, but after failures this was changed to hot swaging. An advantage of a swaged joint is that there is actually an increase in the wall thickness at the joint.


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