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Barriers designed to protect public events

Those who attended public events in Boulder City over the past year may have noticed something a little out of the ordinary on roadways adjacent to public gatherings. That being metal barriers.

According to Lt. Vince Albowicz, of the Boulder City Police Department, the L-shaped barriers were first used by the city during last year’s Christmas Tree lighting at Frank Crowe Park.

“The purpose of the barricades is to retract vehicle traffic areas where large groups of people are gathered,” Albowicz said. “The barriers are approximately 700 pounds and are designed to stop vehicles. When a vehicle strikes the barricade, the barricade is designed to dig into the pavement. The barriers differ from fixed bollards since they can be deployed wherever they are needed.”

As to where they are placed, he said the police department does an assessment of where they are needed most prior to an event. The barriers are then deployed at vehicle entry and exit points and at any area where vehicle traffic should be restricted.

Albowicz said the barriers that have been used belong to Meridian Barrier Defense. The city has had an opportunity to test and evaluate the barriers over the last 11 months without cost.

“The barriers have been deemed to be invaluable and a request to purchase two trailers and eight barricades each has been submitted for consideration to next year’s budget,” he said.

As for the need of the barriers, Albowicz said it depends on how people look at a safety measure as the barriers are designed to prevent injuries or loss of life whether accidentally or intentionally.

“Yes, there are people in the world that would purposely like to hurt others, however, sometimes accidents do occur,” he said. “There have been many documented incidents where a driver of a vehicle accidentally stepped on the gas pedal instead of the brake. There have also been incidents where a driver of a vehicle has suffered a medical episode and crashed a vehicle, unintentionally injuring someone. Having the barricades in place is an extra measure of safety for both our residents and visitors.”

According to Meridian’s website, which has photos of the barriers outside of sports stadiums and major events nationwide, the Archer 1200 Barrier is rapidly deployable in sets of eight in under 10 minutes. “The Archer 1200 Barrier solution allows for pedestrian access and emergency vehicle access for every deployment option. The Archer 1200 Barrier is not a bollard which is permanently fixed. Its mobility makes it a primary security safety system for entry points, roadways and perimeters.”

In a press release last December, Meridian CEO Peter Whitford stated, “We are extremely proud that so many cities and individual police and emergency departments have chosen Meridian to be a major part of their holiday safety campaign.”

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