light rail, Sustainability, Track & Civil Construction

Recycled kerbing makes tram stops safer


New separation kerbing made from world-first polymer concrete that includes recycled glass from old tram windows and windscreens will be used in the latest upgrades at key tram stops in central Melbourne.

The State Government has worked with Victoria-based business Orca Products to supply five kilometres of raised kerbing as part of upgrades on Latrobe, Flinders, Swanston, Spring, Market and Spencer Streets in Melbourne.

The specially made kerbing will be installed between the tram tracks and the closest traffic lane and will help prevent dozens of near-misses and crashes on Melbourne’s tram network each year.

The project will be delivered during night works between August and November, with work sites moving progressively, in sections along each of the routes.

This latest round of separation kerbing follows the installation on Collins, Bourke and Elizabeth Streets last year, which reduced vehicle to tram collisions by 30 per cent in the city.

The kerbing being used as part of this upgrade contains up to 80 per cent recycled glass. Orca has used more than 2000 tonnes of recycled glass to create kerbing and bike lane safety products, preventing it from going to landfill.

Orca employs 30 Victorians in Laverton and Lara. It had been based in China, but moved to Australia in 2014. It partners with a Ballarat-based engineering company that produces moulds used to create the kerbing, resulting in more cost-effective and higher quality product.

Public Transport minister Ben Carroll said the state was using more recycled products in transport projects than ever before.

“Whether it’s recycled rubber in our road maintenance works or recycled glass kerbing to make Melbourne’s tram network safer, we’re looking for more sustainable ways to deliver improvements to our networks,” he said.

Alan Travers from Orca Civil Products said the company had worked with Deakin University over four years to develop the recycled glass kerbing product, which involved rigorous testing and trialing before it went into the market.