How You Should Use Portable Barricades

Road Closed Portable Barricade

What constitutes a portable barricade?

While driving your vehicle around the unending roads in the United States, you more than likely have seen portable barricades or at least a stationary barricade. These barricades help protect you from unsafe areas or accidents. OSHA has defined a portable barricade in two ways. The first is by design and the second is by application.

Portable barricades are broken into three separate categories under design. To begin, OSHA says, “A barricade is a portable or fixed device having from one to three rails with appropriate markings. It is used to control traffic by closing, restricting, or delineating all or a portion of the right-of-way.”  The sole purpose of these barricades is to control traffic. Through controlling traffic, drivers and the road workers can have a safe environment. Without barricades, many drivers may find themselves in difficult and often hazardous circumstances.  

Design of the Barricades

It does not matter how they are used to control traffic. As you can see, it can be by closing, restricting, or delineating a road. What is important is that portable barricades are used to move traffic to where the traffic controller needs the vehicles to go. There are certain requirements that have to be followed for using portable barricades, such as:

  • Stripes on the barricades have to be alternating white reflective stripes and orange stripes. These colored stripes will usually have to be sloping down at a 45 degree angle and in the direction traffic is supposed to turn.
  • Barricade across a roadway should have stripes that face down indicating the direction that traffic will have to turn. When traffic may be turning in both directions, you can have a barricade that has stripes facing both direction from the middle to the outside edge. If there are no turns, such as a dead end, the stripes should slope towards the middle indicating that there is not a place to turn.
  • Barricades need to be sturdy to withstand the elements, such as rain, wind, and any other storm. They also have to be able to withstand an impact from a vehicle. Because these portable barricades may be struck by a vehicle, they need to be made of lightweight materials. If these barricades are created so that there is no room for them to move, it could cause unnecessary harm to the vehicle’s operator.
  • Barricades on freeways or high wind areas should be stabilized with the use of sandbags. Only sandbags should be used, and not other solid materials that could cause harm. These bags should be placed at the bottom of the barricade and never the top.

The design of the barricades is very strict and the requirements must be followed. They are supposed to be created in a way that makes a safe driving environment for drivers. These safe environments are created by adhering to the markings on the barricades. The portable barricades are created to withstand mother nature, but to be light enough that they will move if impacted by a vehicle. In a given situation, there may be a different type of barricade used. OSHA has separated barricades into three types.

Application of Portable Barricades

How You Should Use Portable Barricades

Barricades are broken into three types. Often the driving environment and whether it is temporary or permanent will define which type of barricade that will have to be used. Type I and II barricades are often used when traffic has to be diverted temporarily. Type I are usually used on urban or less traveled roads. On the other hand, type II barricades have a larger reflective surface. This larger reflective surface is to enhance awareness, thus, these barricades are often used on freeways or highways where people are traveling at a faster speed and may not have as much time to react.

Type III barricades are used to close roads. These portable barricades will cross the whole road indicating that the road is closed to through traffic. However, some of these barricades may not extend across the whole road. For example, sometimes these road closures occur on streets where individuals reside. The road block will cover most of the road, but there will be an opening for residents.

When should you use a barricade?

As alluded to above, there are many situations that you should use a portable barricade. Capitol Barricade will know and understand the situation you are faced with. They will be able to point you in the right direction when it comes to the specific barricades you will need for the situation that faces you. Between portable and stationary barricades, you will find them everywhere. You will find barricades around road construction sites.

These barricades will usually be a way to direct and control the movement of traffic. It is important as a driver to know and understand the significance of the sloped lines on a barricade. These lines will tell you everything that you need to know about where you should proceed, whether it is left, right, or a dead end, the direction of the stripes will tell all. Barricades can also be of a temporary or a permanent state.  You can also find barricades of different shapes, sizes, and materials. The difference in barricades, as discussed, above, will at times be the road that they are used on. Freeways and roads with a higher speed limit will need barricades that are easy to see in the day and at night. These barricades are often larger with a lot of retro-reflective material to give notice to the oncoming traffic.

Other less traveled routes will not need to use a large reflective barricades to warn oncoming traffic. These barricades will still have reflective material and serve their purpose. Depending on the size of the barricade, the stripes will have to be a certain width. Barricades have to follow strict rules set by OSHA in the way they are used and their dimensions.

How You Should Use Portable Barricades

Other times that you would use a barricade is to detour traffic around an accident. Some roads may be blocked if an accident has occurred. This can be a car accident involving two vehicles or even a single overturned truck. Barricades are also used in smaller situations. You can find barricades at schools, stores, hotels, hospitals, and especially parking garages. Traffic needs to be controlled in numerous places. Schools have to be able to regulate traffic to provide safety for the drivers, but more importantly, they need barricades to protect the school children. Also, without barricades in a parking garage, there may be people entering wrong areas causing confusion and danger amongst other drivers.

When it comes down to it, barricades were created to control traffic. Through this control you can find safety while driving in all places, not just a road. Understanding the meaning of the stripes on the barricade and being vigilant while operating your vehicle will create a safe and enjoyable driving experience. Whether you are an owner of a business or a construction crew. Capitol Barricade has the knowledge and expertise to help you. They have every barricade to fit your needs. It does not matter whether it is a small barricade for a parking garage or a large barricade for a freeway, we can help you. Contact us today!

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