Whether you are planning for a new highway construction project or a temporary road closure, work zone barricades are essential tools. They help control traffic, prevent longitudinal and lateral crashes into construction zones, and keep workers and pedestrians safe. Many types of traffic barriers can be used for work zones, but they all have one purpose – to protect workers and motorists. That’s why choosing the right barrier for your needs is important.
Work zone barriers help to keep traffic out of hazardous areas while workers are in place. These devices alert drivers of hazards, advise them of the proper path through the work zone, and delineate unsafe areas to operate vehicles.
One type of barrier is a concrete median barrier. These barriers are typically 1070 mm (42 in) high and are crash-tested with tractor-trailers.
They have been shown to safely contain and redirect the impacting truck until the underside of the bed or trailer rests on top of the concrete. It prevents the vehicle from rolling off the road.
Another barrier type is a constant-slope barrier. These barriers have been crash-tested with a single-unit truck and show comparable performance to the shape barrier.
In addition, these types of barriers from a company like Fort Worth-based traffic control company have been proven to have the ability to absorb energy that would otherwise cause the vehicle to roll over.
Traffic Control Equipment
Using traffic control equipment within work zones is a key way to enhance safety for those in the area. It can help delineate hazardous areas, direct traffic, and warn drivers of upcoming road flow changes.
Several different types of traffic control devices are available for temporary work zones. These include warning signs, traffic cones, bollards, flaggers and more.
Warning devices are a necessary part of all highway work zones. They alert drivers to upcoming changes in the roadway, such as speed limit reductions or narrowing of lanes.
Various other traffic control devices may also be used to direct traffic, such as paddles and stop or slow paddles that can be operated from the driver’s seat.
These devices can be integrated into work zones for maximum impact and rented, including barricade rentals. They are available in various colors and can be seen from an appropriate distance, regardless of weather conditions or time of day.
Watch for cones, signs, barrels, flaggers, and other traffic control equipment when driving through work zones. You must adhere to posted speed limits, turn on your hazard lights, move into a lane away from other drivers in the work zone, and merge cautiously.
Construction projects and traffic patterns can change daily, including lane shifts or alternating lane closures. Be prepared for these changes and select alternate routes to avoid a work zone entirely.
Whether your project requires a single barricade or a series of barriers, you must ensure that all equipment and signs are in place to protect workers, motorists and pedestrians. Signs should be placed in locations visible during day or night, periods of low light and inclement weather.
Other safety measures include personal safety lighting and light bars that provide adequate illumination for crew members. These lights may be stationary to alert drivers to changing road conditions or mobile as a spotter for crew members installing or removing traffic control devices on foot.
Work Zone Awareness Week (April 3-7) is an important time to remind everyone that they can prevent serious accidents if they follow traffic laws and watch for workers and heavy equipment. Today, TxDOT officials, project team members and emergency responders marked the event with a police-escorted motorcade along Interstate-35W in north Fort Worth.
Pedestrians need to be aware of all the road conditions when walking. When pedestrians are not paying attention to their surroundings or cross the street at the wrong place, it is extremely simple for them to get hit by a car and murdered. In 2004, 13 States had pedestrian fatality rates that exceeded the national rate of 2.5 per 100,000 population. These States included Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Michigan, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Carolina and Texas.