Concrete barriers are used in many scenarios where security, workforce safety, vehicular access and access management are essential.
Interlinking precast concrete blocks can create a continuous blockade or be positioned in intervals to restrict vehicles and unauthorised visitors from trespassing or entering unsafe zones such as highway repair areas. As an effective, immovable and physical safeguard, concrete barriers are used in multiple settings where managers or owners need to keep vehicles in a delineated space, secure a property or prevent access.
Use Cases for Concrete Barrier Blocks
Barriers can be deployed in an industrial, commercial or residential setting, with varied options to stack blocks vertically or horizontally or create staggered partitions for traffic management and to protect pedestrian areas.
The extreme weight and density of a concrete block mean that even one standalone block cannot be moved, towed or shifted. Concrete blocks are positioned across wide expanses of land to create a perimeter line or base for fencing or to prevent vehicles access. Examples of the varied applications include:
- Retail centres, banks and public sector facilities to prevent vehicular crimes such as ram-raiding and terrorist attacks.
- Trespassing protection around compounds, commercial facilities and farmland.
- Highways safety, using concrete barriers to prevent vehicles from crossing lanes, entering work zones or posing a safety risk to construction workers and maintenance crews.
- Events management, with blocks positioned to designate parking areas, separate traffic and people, or partition fields and open-air spaces into controlled traffic routes.
- Blockades to keep vehicles from hazardous areas, such as deep water, and ensure vehicles cannot access land, eliminating the risk of fly-tipping.
In any setting where access controls are important, concrete blocks can be configured in an appropriate layout to create a physical boundary or barrier.
Privacy and Protection
Across the utility, rail and highway sectors, there are many scenarios where it is necessary to find an efficient and cost-effective way of blocking the view of passers-by. This requirement may be important during construction works, particularly where developments are adjacent to roadways and distractions can cause collisions or accidents. Site managers may also wish to protect the site from public view due to privacy or safeguarding purposes, such as when constructing a school site or local authority structure. Concrete barriers are precast from solid, reinforced concrete and can be interlocked to construct an impenetrable boundary that prevents invasions of privacy and snooping.
We mentioned above the use of concrete barriers to protect highway workforces from traffic. Concrete blocks work equally well as a traffic guide or to construct temporary routes and systems to ensure good traffic controls. Jersey barriers and TVCBs (temporary vertical concrete barriers) are commonly used in events or where heavy-duty vehicles may be present and can be installed in any location and for short or long-term applications. Barriers can create temporary routes during construction work, guide traffic around one-way systems, be positioned alongside carriageways, be used in sports events and outdoor festivals, or control traffic throughout an industrial estate. Concrete blocks can also be used to create bays for storage or parking and are easily visible from any vehicle.
Assembled concrete barriers provide a stable structure that protects against flooding and water ingress, fire and impacts. Vertically assembled concrete blocks can create material storage bays on construction sites, shore up loose ground and soil to prevent mud slips and landslides, or act as a retaining wall. Because blocks interlock without requiring a layer of mortar to connect each block to the next, they are invulnerable to water and can be an effective way to reduce flooding risks.
The Practical Benefits of Concrete Barriers
Concrete is a simple, practical way to reduce a broad range of risks and security issues and can be used as a safety barrier by adding hi-vis signage, reflective strips or directional arrows. Users can also install concrete blocks for long-term use, such as within a public-access pedestrian area, and use the top of the barrier as a space for planting to create an aesthetic appearance. The way precast concrete blocks are engineered ensures a highly durable barrier with a long lifecycle, making barrier blocks a cost-effective solution, with vertical barriers and blocks designed for roadside use crash tested and compliant with all the applicable regulatory standards. Our installation teams can erect your concrete blocks in any required configuration, remove or reposition blocks as needed, or provide advice on the right model of barrier blocks and sizing we would recommend for your intended use.
Choosing the Right Concrete Barrier Blocks
There are several types of concrete blocks with varying dimensions and weights, so the right solution for your site may depend on the risks or safety issues you wish to protect against. Jersey barriers have extra-wide bases with a tapered design, which makes each block stable, and extremely difficult to dislodge or topple over, even when impacted with great pressure, such as being hit by a moving vehicle. This design is ideal for highway projects, both to guide and direct vehicles, prevent collisions, separate lanes, protect workers and stop vehicles from accessing a hazard such as a lake, steep drop or bank at the side of the carriageway. These blocks absorb impact, reduce the force of a collision, and mean a vehicle slides alongside the barrier without rolling or crashing through the barrier. Interlocking blocks are erected with lifting anchors precast into each unit, making them easy to assemble in any design with various sizes and weights. Connected blocks are resilient, durable, and compatible with fencing and panelling as a security boundary or in other applications. Finally, TVCBs are versatile enough to be configured in any required layout and are used in varied settings as risk management assets. For roadside safety, precast arrows ensure visitors can follow directions without posing a risk to nearby colleagues, pedestrians or other site users.
For more advice about the most suitable concrete barriers for your site, or to discuss the right configuration patterns to defend against key risks, please contact a Clearway specialist.