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Jersey Barrier Sizes and Dimensions

Jersey Barrier Sizes and Dimensions
Jersey Barrier Sizes and Dimensions

Concrete barriers are versatile and cost-effective, used in countless environments to protect people, vehicles and assets. Jersey barriers are a specific type of concrete block used extensively in road safety and traffic management, with one block weighing 1,450 kg.

The advantage of precast concrete is that it is extremely heavy and immovable, resistant to all weather conditions, and cannot be destroyed or damaged by ice, snow, or heat.

Alternatives such as water or sand-filled plastic barriers, metal guardrails and bollards may not be suitable for environments with a high risk of vehicle collisions. They may stop a moving vehicle but could potentially pose a greater fatality risk or may not slow a car fast enough to mitigate the impact of a preventable accident.

Jersey Barrier Dimensions

Clearway offers three categories of concrete barrier blocks, each with varying design features and uses. The standard dimensions for a jersey barrier block are as follows:

  • Length: 2,500mm
  • Width: 610mm
  • Height: 810mm
  • Weight: 1,450kg

We also provide different-sized jersey barriers on request, with lighter, lower-profile and denser blocks for specialist applications if you require an alternative size, weight, or width.

It is advisable to speak with an experienced engineer if you are unsure of the optimal size or configuration of your jersey barrier or would like to discuss other concrete barrier blocks. Our installers can suggest the best-suited blocks or work through your safety requirements to provide independent recommendations.

The size of a jersey barrier block is optimised for safety, tall enough to be easily seen by drivers of any vehicle but without a height profile that could cause serious injury by impacting windscreens.

A slimmer 610mm width means a jersey barrier does not eat into road surfacing space or restrict the size of traffic lanes, making them suitable for roads used by HGVs.

Applications for Jersey Barriers

Each jersey barrier is built from individual blocks, which are extremely heavy. A key use is in road safety, where there is a risk of vehicles skidding, losing control, crossing median lines, or being involved in an accident.

Highways agencies, repair teams and contractors use jersey barriers in several ways:

  • Providing a physical barrier between traffic lanes.
  • Safeguarding workers in close proximity to moving vehicles.
  • Protecting pedestrian zones from vehicular entry.
  • Stopping cars from crossing into oncoming traffic.
  • Creating a crash barrier to prevent rolling or block access to dangerous hazards such as open water, gullies, or steep drops next to the road.

The jersey blocks interlock together and can be configured in a wide variety of ways, as a barrier that stretches the full length of the carriageway, as a smaller line of blocks, or in a detailed layout to create traffic through-routes.

Jersey barriers are used in other situations as edge protection, to prevent ram-raiding, illegal entry, or fly-tipping, and on construction sites to ensure that heavy-duty vehicles cannot enter work zones.

Event managers regularly hire jersey barriers to build short-term pedestrian walkways, construct temporary car parking facilities, or as part of a boundary to prevent unauthorised visitors from entering the site.

Each jersey barrier block is manufactured from quality concrete and delivered on a lorry equipped with either a forklift or lifting arm to crane the blocks into place safely and efficiently. Once the blocks have been connected, they provide an immovable blockade and cannot be shifted, tampered with, or removed without specialist commercial lifting machinery.

Concrete Jersey Barrier

The History of Jersey Barriers

Jersey barriers were first manufactured in New Jersey in the 1950s, hence the name. Road planners needed a way to separate lanes of traffic, reduce the volume of accidents and create a safer work environment as new highways were built.

There are several variants, although plastic jersey barriers are normally intended to delineate areas with high-vis colours or stripes rather than to stop vehicles or protect workers and pedestrians.

These now familiar blocks resulted from a development project at the New Jersey Stevens Institute of Technology and have since become a regular sight on public roads. Other concrete blocks are built to be stacked vertically, creating supporting walls to shore up soil, prevent mudslides, or act as material storage bays.

In most cases, jersey barriers are used for shorter periods, aligned alongside roadwork or construction projects to ensure vehicles cannot collide with vulnerable workers. However, they are also an effective safeguard against intentional vehicular damage, such as ram-raiding and illegal entry.

Permanent jersey barriers can be engineered with embedded steel rods for additional impact resistance or connected with poured concrete to create a tough, durable solid wall.

How Effective are Jersey Barrier Blocks?

Research studies demonstrate how well jersey barriers work to reduce the severity of collisions, prevent accidents, and safeguard workers in construction, road maintenance and other industrial environments.

A report by the National Library of Medicine studying the outcomes of traffic accidents in Indiana found that:

  • Median concrete barrier walls at 15 to 18 feet reduce injury risks by 39%.
  • The chances of injury when hitting a concrete barrier are 57% lower than when colliding with a guardrail.

Another study commissioned by the Highways Agency Safety Standards and Research Department evaluated the lifetime costs of a safety barrier. It found that concrete was the most cost-effective solution. Of 30 accidents recorded on the M25 motorway where a vehicle hit a concrete barrier, none required any repairs or replacement blocks.

It also found that 2.2% of collisions were fatal where a car hit a ‘high containment’ barrier, preventing the vehicle from rebounding onto the carriageway, or crossing the median line, compared to 7.3% with a standard safety barrier.

While roadways are only one of the many ways to incorporate jersey barriers into a safety and security policy, they have proven to be an affordable, robust, and life-saving asset with the capacity to withstand extreme impacts in a wide range of scenarios and environments.

For advice about the right jersey barrier size, specification and configuration for your site, workforce safety set-up or development, please contact the Clearway team at your convenience.

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