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Types of Concrete Barrier Explained

Types of Concrete Barrier Explained
Types of Concrete Barrier Explained

Concrete barriers are an effective solution for owners and managers of land, work sites, commercial properties, vacant buildings, and industrial units who need to ensure there are no unsupervised vehicular entry points. But what are the different types of concrete barriers and how is each type used?

Concrete barriers can be used in a variety of other scenarios, such as:

  • Separating pedestrian walkways from cars.
  • Delineating car parking spaces and through routes.
  • Shoring up soil as a retaining wall.
  • Storing materials in a concrete storage bay.
  • Protecting workers adjacent to a highway.
  • Controlling crowds and creating clear wayfinding.
  • Safeguarding perimeters at events or venues.

This guide will explain the types of concrete barriers available, how they are constructed, the concrete block options, and which may be best suited to your requirements.

Types of Concrete Blocks Used to Build Barriers

The first consideration is how you want your concrete blocks configured into a barrier. Do you need a tall, solid concrete wall, intermittent blocks to stop cars, or low-level concrete barriers with anti-climb fencing above?

Blocks can be positioned in almost any shape using locking bolts and pins, with the construction carried out on-site. Each block is craned into place, so you can specify how you’d like the finished barrier to look.

The best options will vary between uses, for example:

  • Roadway barriers are usually continuous solid barriers of sufficient height to withstand impacts from cars, vans and lorries that may be using the road.
  • Event barriers tend to be combined with Heras fencing to prevent unauthorised entry or stop unticketed visitors from entering the site away from main entrances.
  • Construction site barriers might be higher profile and adjusted periodically to retain land and soil while work is ongoing.
  • Perimeter barriers could be staggered, preventing vehicle access without creating a large-scale barrier wall that blocks lines of sight.
  • Car park barriers are normally created using low-profile concrete blocks for good visibility while being prominent enough to stop drivers from travelling the wrong way or entering pedestrian routes.

We will explore the various concrete block models available from Clearway below. Still, you are welcome to give us a call and have a chat about your needs if you’d like a professional recommendation.

Stackable Concrete Blocks

Types of Concrete Barrier Blocks

Precast concrete barriers come in several models:

  • Temporary Vertical Concrete Barriers (TCVBs) are crash tested and built from quality concrete to provide a safe environment for construction near traffic routes or where there are high volumes of vehicles close to pedestrians.
  • Jersey barriers are used for premises security, creating an impassable boundary and as a form of anti-vehicle barrier. They are used for traffic management, flood protection, and slot together to route cars and delivery vehicles, protecting against collisions.
  • Interlocking concrete blocks are versatile and used to build storage systems, flood defences, temporary structures, and as a perimeter security and traffic control asset.

These blocks range in size and weight, so the correct concrete blocks will vary with projects, purposes and the required hire duration.

Clearway can organise short and long-term hire or permanent concrete block installations at commercial centres or retail sites where designated areas must be protected from vehicle entry.

How to Install a Concrete Barrier While Preserving Access

Another factor is that wherever your concrete barrier is positioned, you will still need access to your site, property, or business.

Selecting the right entry points may depend on health and safety measures (such as having an accessible fire route), so a risk assessment is advisable before you start planning.

There are many ways to incorporate a concrete barrier with fences, gates, and access points.

You might build a concrete barrier with interlocking blocks across unused openings and have a gate fitted securely connected to the blocks on either side.

Gates could be manually operated, electrical, or manned, with alternative solutions such as automatic number plate (ANPR) CCTV surveillance or access control systems activated with a passcode or security fob.

Concrete blocks are extremely heavy and cannot be moved without professional lifting equipment, so it is important to analyse how your barrier will work and where it should be erected.

However, you can schedule a realignment or reconfiguration as required, where we will dispatch a team with the appropriate machinery to reassemble your blocks.

This task is common where the concrete barrier is temporary, needs to be shifted along to protect workers as they progress through different zones, or where retaining walls must be moved as construction reaches each phase.

Concrete Barriers for Road Works or Car Parks

Barriers assembled from heavy-duty concrete blocks are the ideal precaution for roadside working as a robust, infallible safeguard that prevents collisions and obstructs accidental or intentional vehicular access to restricted working areas.

Blocks can only be moved with commercial equipment, so they protect work sites from fly-tipping, incursions and thefts.

TVCBs are low-height, heavy duty and longer; efficient for car parks, longer stretches of road or wider scale spaces.

Interlocking blocks can be stacked on top of each other to create a higher barrier, more suited for high-risk roadside work, and can double as a retaining wall to prevent debris or building rubble from reaching the road.

Integrated lifting pins are easy to manoeuvre with an appropriate crane and hook and can be used as a temporary flood barrier, mitigating the risk of water hazards on roadways.

Concrete Barriers for Construction Sites

Construction site managers often utilise concrete barriers in multiple areas around active work sites, such as:

  • Security barriers around perimeters and traffic restrictive barriers to prevent members of the public from entering hazardous zones.
  • Designating areas for low loaders, HGVs, and earth-moving equipment to travel away from places where colleagues are working.
  • Edge protection barriers to prevent falls where there are raised areas.

Concrete blocks cannot be shifted or moved, and are an excellent way to safeguard busy construction sites from health and safety hazards, illegal entry, and accidents.

For more information about the right types of concrete barrier for your site or guidance about constructing a temporary or long-term security barrier, please get in touch with Clearway or view our concrete barriers page here.

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