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light poles next to rural road

Road safety improves with aluminium light poles

February 26, 2019

Bergamo Province has installed 181 new light poles in the city of Caravaggio because passively safe aluminium poles outperform traditional steel alternatives in the aspects the province considers most important to its residents.

Italy is committed to making its roads safer by 2020. Various organizations and foundations are pushing to ensure that the country’s roads and highways reflect this commitment.

Caravaggio is home to 16,000 people, a cozy city located half an hour from Milan. Its most famous resident lived more than 400 years ago, the Italian artist with the same name.

Engineer Alain Mazzocchi, who works for Bergamo Province’s traffic planning and maintenance office, was tasked with finding a solution in and around the Caravaggio Tangenziale – the motorway. The province has long been open to the theme of passive safety, so Mazzocchi started there.

Normally, he says poles are “fixed obstacles” that are either placed next to roads in residential areas or protected on highways with safety barriers, such as guardrails. “Passively safe poles are not obstacles, in fact, they are ‘self-protected’ in the sense that they are safe elements for occupants of vehicles in case of impact,” he says.

Aluminium is by nature a passively safe material

The use of passively safe light poles eliminates the need for excessive distances from the roadway, which is also important when it comes to the actual lighting of the roads, and the need to install expensive safety barriers.

Aluminium is recyclable and resistant to corrosion. This reduces the cost of maintenance. Its light weight makes the poles practical to install, and its crash-absorbing properties make it intrinsically safer than steel in case of impact. It looks good, too.

“Aluminium is often the favorite choice because of its passive safe character,” says Mazzocchi.

Passive safety class 100 LE3 in Caravaggio

Mazzocchi proposed a solution that would position public lighting along Caravaggio’s ring tangential. The choice was passively safe aluminium light poles from Hydro.

The 181 poles are passive safety class 100 LE3. They are 9.5 meters high, have single or double brackets, and are fitted with LED light fixtures from the Faeber lighting system FBBS.

Aluminium light poles in Pordenone

Pordenone, a province in the northeastern part of the country, is following suit.

The province has ordered more than 200 pieces of eight-meter-high conical aluminium poles, each with LED lighting, for the roundabouts on the urban streets in Pordenone. Hydro is delivering, with local representative Rodolfo Fabris Light Consulting and electrical installer Nicola Pietro & C. Snc.

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