A civil engineer always considers safety first when planning a project. For instance, when working on a road, bridge, or public space, barriers are used to demarcate the working space and protect both the workers and motorists. Commonly, the deployment of concrete barriers is for the purpose of construction in sites where traffic is high.
A topic of discussion among civil engineering contractors is specifically deciding the type of concrete barrier to use for a particular project, giving their individual properties. There are two types of concrete barriers:
- Precast Concrete Barriers: Precast concrete barriers are produced or cast in a casting plant, inspected, and then transported to the construction site where they are deployed for use. Precast concrete barriers are usually between 10 m to 20 m in length, and are made using standard cement. State laws are guiding the strength of precast concrete barriers; a good reason for hiring a civil engineer is to oversee the casting process.
- On-site Cast Concrete Barriers: These concrete barriers are not cast at a plant, but cast on-site where they would find usefulness. They are of the same length as the precast barriers and have similar strength ratings. Again, State laws determine the strength of on-site concrete barriers.
Advantages of Concrete Barriers
- Protection of workers: Concrete barriers demarcate construction sites so that the workers get protected from vehicular mishaps.
- Protection of motorists: Motorists are also at risk of accidents if construction sites are not demarcated. Because heavy equipment may be in use, motorists have to go slowly around the site or use a different lane entirely.
- Durability: There is nothing that a civil engineer likes more than having durable equipment.
- Ease of design: Concrete barriers can be made even more effective by coating them with reflective paint so that motorists can see them from a far distance.
- Minimum maintenance: Weather conditions do not affect the concrete barriers. By nature, they are highly resistant to corrosion and can survive when vehicles crash into them.
- Aesthetic values: Besides their protective uses, concrete barriers may also serve aesthetic purposes. They can be used in parks and similar areas as structural milestones, resting points, or used for plain decoration.
Both precast and on-site cast concrete barriers are useful in construction. The way they are used will depend on the safety or aesthetic plans.