Partitions that divide highways are a common sight. Therefore, most people take them for granted. The concrete barriers may look simple, however, their design is sophisticated. While the design does not have frills, it is highly functional. It keeps drivers safe on both sides of the road, in case there is a crash.
These ordinary-looking concrete barriers, called concrete jersey barriers, originated from the United States. The first known use of concrete barriers was in California in 1946. The original road barriers before were made of wood, most of them placed at the Grapevine section of the Ridge Route Highway in California. That particular section of the road was quite treacherous, with a six per cent downgrade that caused many head-on collisions, earning the nickname, “Dead Man’s Curve.”
The state of New Jersey adopted the concrete structures to minimise accidents at the Jugtown Mountain section of U.S. Route 22, which has a similar downgrade.
Why the concrete barriers are called Jersey barriers?
The concrete barriers became known as Jersey barriers after the state of New Jersey in the United States started using them as separators for traffic lanes in 1950. The state used the barrier to minimise vehicle damage when there was incidental contact with other vehicles. They can prevent vehicle crossovers. Moreover, they can reroute traffic and protect workers and pedestrians when there are ongoing road works.
The unique design of concrete Jersey barriers
The concrete Jersey barriers are interlocking. They can form a long solid line when needed. Concrete barriers are precast, allowing the installation of the structures to be more convenient. The design of the Jersey barriers calls for an extra-wide base. The particular configuration helps increase the stability of the barrier considerably, and in case of a crash, prevents the vehicle from sustaining more damage. They are very effective in redirecting a crash as they absorb the vehicle’s momentum and force of impact. With the barriers’ stability, they allow the vehicle to slide along the line of barriers, preventing the vehicle from flipping or rolling over. Likewise, they prevent the vehicles from breaching the row of barriers and entering the other side of the highway.
The precast barriers have grooves that are compatible with forklifts, making it easier to transport and deploy the barriers.
Other uses of concrete Jersey barriers
Concrete Jersey barriers are not only effective for traffic management. You can utilise them for flood defence, edge protection, rockfall, and site security. Today, the barriers are extensively used as social distancing barriers or to impose social distancing measures.
However, their weight and stability make them perfect for other applications. It would be difficult for people to push the concrete barriers easily. This feature makes it easy for the barriers to be the perfect choice to manage traffic during festivals, exhibitions, and events. They can be used as kentledge and counterweights. Likewise, they are effective as ballast weights for scaffolding, stages, and marquees.
Consider precast concrete Jersey barriers when you need heavy-duty structures for security and protection. Several companies hire or sell them.