Known for its seaside resorts and diners, an often overlooked but vital traffic device also hails from the state of New Jersey— the jersey barrier.
The term jersey barrier refers primarily to concrete barriers, and sometimes secondarily to plastic barricades, used along the center and sides of highways, construction sites, parking lots, and any other location where traffic needs to be diverted. They were first invented in New Jersey in 1949— hence their name— but are also commonly referred to as K-rails or jersey walls.
More than anything else, jersey barriers are designed to redirect a collision. They do this by using the upward slope at their base, plus the car’s momentum, to slide the vehicle parallel along the side of the barrier. This not only stops the car from colliding with any vehicles coming from the opposing direction but also prevents the vehicle from rolling over.
Barrier Types and Specifications
Over time, these barriers have grown taller. From 19 inches tall in 1949 to today, where the average jersey barrier is 32 inches tall, but also comes in a 24 and 42-inch variety. This taller barrier has the added benefit of blocking distracting headlines from oncoming traffic, with the added benefit of being safer for larger vehicles and trucks.
While your typical jersey barrier will be made of steel-reinforced concrete, they also come in a plastic variety, which can be filled with water. Both kinds of barriers serve the same purpose: to slow down or redirect traffic and prevent further damage in the event of a collision.
Most people identify a true jersey barrier by its iconic shape, especially recognizable from its side profile. The front and back of a jersey barrier go down in nearly straight lines, fanning out toward the bottom to create a base that’s about 20 inches greater than the top measurement. This solid base, along with typical precast concrete construction, results in one of the consistently strongest traffic barriers on the market.
From redirecting swerving cars on a highway to directing mass traffic for a big event to keeping workers safe at a construction site, jersey barriers are vital to promoting safe driving and awareness in any vehicle-dense area. Keeping drivers safe is the main priority here— which is why we only sell the best of the best when it comes to traffic control devices.
From construction sites to high-traffic areas, Carolina Traffic Devices has got you and your company covered for all of your jersey barrier needs. Contact us today to see how we can help you create a safer environment for your employees and the motorists in your area.