This has got to be one of the coolest things I’ve seen as far as road construction goes in about oh, I don’t know, forever maybe.
This thing takes those Jersey barriers (the ones that are made out of concrete and turn a lot of roadway into the Death Star tunnels like in Eppisode IV A New Hope.
These photos show the Zipper Machine in action on May 3, 2001. The machine is in the process of moving the temporary concrete median barrier over one lane. This is done to close one half of the bridge so that deck replacement operations can take place on the closed half, while one lane each way with a center emergency lane operates on the other half. The closure begins at 7:00 PM and ends at 6:00 AM the following morning, occurring Monday through Friday.
You may wonder how I got such a great view looking down on this operation. The James Monroe state office building is right next to I-95 in downtown Richmond, and I am standing at the edge of the plaza that surrounds the building. The building is 25 stories tall.