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Types of Barricades

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5 min

Whether it’s for crowd control at a large event or to improve safety on a construction site, there are a range of barricades available to help keep people safe. But what is a barricade, what are the different types of barricades that are available, and are you required to use specific types of barricades for your purpose? In this article, we’ll discuss all these questions and many more, giving you a solid view of how to use what type of barricade effectively.

What is a Barricade?

From accident scenes and outdoor events to road barricades and construction zone demarcation, barricades are devices that serve a range of uses, specifically in the channeling of vehicle and pedestrian traffic to safer locations while construction or unusual events are underway. This is achieved by creating a physical barrier for a road closing, traffic control, inclement weather, oncoming traffic, or other issues. They can come in a range of different formats, from a reflective rail to a Jersey barrier placed on flat surfaces and plastic barricades to crowd control barricades.

Barricades: Their Importance for Safety

As mentioned above, the key use of barricades is to improve safety for specific needs during a range of operations, including road construction, heavy equipment usage, pedestrian traffic control, and similar areas of concern. By creating physical traffic barriers with these devices, the foot and vehicle flow of traffic is rerouted to a safer area, preventing injuries and accidents that could have been avoided. For this reason, barricades will often have a combination of bright and light colors, such as orange and white, in addition to lights, reflectors, and similar items to increase visibility. 

Frequent Uses of Barricades

Barricades are used for a wide range of uses. They are common in road construction and construction sites, and are often used for crowd control barriers for large events and at accident scenes to contain the flow of traffic. These physical barriers prevent people from accidentally wandering onto a construction site or into the wrong lane during road construction in situations where a sign could have been missed. By preventing these accidents, safety on the job site, in areas of road construction, and around events are improved.

Types of Barricades

There are three specific categories of barricades that you may run across. These include traffic barricades, construction barricades and pedestrian barricades. Let’s take a look at each of these three categories.

Traffic Barricades

traffic barrels lined up on road for construction

What are Traffic Barricades Used for?

A traffic barricade will often have flat feet or a flared base to prevent tipping when bumped by vehicles, and often have a reflective panel to make the traffic barricade obvious to vehicle traffic. These barricades provide separation for the construction workers to work safely, especially on higher speed roads. This type of equipment can consist of steel barricades, metal barricades, plastic barrier protection, plastic jersey barrier options, or concrete, all of which are often painted or coated with a reflective surface for better visibility.

Types of Traffic Barricades

  • Traffic Cones are commonly used to create very temporary barricades, and are often used around streets that are temporarily closed off or to block off parking spaces due to an incoming event. They are light in weight and stackable, making them very easy to deploy.
  • Water Filled Barriers are typically plastic and will be filled on site to reduce the weight while in transit, and come in a range of shapes including a plastic Jersey barrier style, barrels, and other hollow plastic traffic barriers.
  • Traffic Barrels often stack with a flared base to keep it upright in traffic. Typically a form of plastic barricade, they’re commonly used temporarily because they can be placed and moved easily, but will remain in place for extended periods if needed.
  • Traffic Delineators have an appearance similar to that of traffic cones, but are more pipe-like in their appearance. This allows them to be quickly stacked or unstacked for temporary barrier usage, such as when evening road construction is underway.
  • A-Frame Barriers are barriers with two A-shaped supports that are joined by a perpendicular board. Often painted with white and orange stripes, they provide an obvious barrier for traffic control, and may have reflectors or lights to make them more obvious.

Construction Barricade

red and white barrier lined up on the side of the road to guard a dirt construction site

What are Construction Barricades Used For?

Construction barricades are used to limit access to certain areas on a construction site. This includes limiting traffic to sensitive areas, such as treelines, waterways and recently planted or sodded locations, as well as limiting access from unauthorized personnel to construction materials, tools, and equipment. However, there are three specific types of construction barricades you should be aware of, which we’ll discuss next.

Types of Construction Barricades

  • Type I Barricades have orange and white stripes at a 45-degree angle located towards the top of the barricade. It has only one reflective panel towards the top, which is typically about 24″ by 6″. For this reason, this type of barricade is used on low-speed roads and to control pedestrian traffic at busy job sites.
  • Type II Barricades have two reflective panels with orange and white stripes at a 45-degree angle, making it better suited for expressways. The reflective panels are about the same size as the type I, but the extra panel makes it more visible, which is why this type of barricade is used for higher speed roads
  • Type III Barricades are much larger, starting at four feet and going up to 10 feet wide, and with three reflective panels, are often used for road & sidewalk closures or heavy construction work. This is because the multiple reflective panels make it much easier to get the driver’s attention, stopping them in their tracks and preventing incursion to dangerous areas. They are striped in a pattern demarking left, right or chevron indicating which way to safely pass by the obstruction. 

Pedestrian Barricade

What are Pedestrian Barricades Used For?

By comparison, pedestrian barricades are used to limit the mixture of automotive and pedestrian traffic, and are commonly used around larger events. These barricades help to prevent accidents by limiting mixed traffic within specific zones. The most common type is a frame barricade or A-frame barricade, which consists of one or two boards perpendicular to a pair of A-shaped supports. They’ll often have orange and white stripes in a reflective sheeting to make them more obvious.

However, some large events call for other options that control pedestrian traffic as well, such as events with a large crowd or an exclusive event.. To prevent unpaid individuals from sneaking in, barricade fencing can be used to limit their access to the active concert or festival grounds..

Our pedestrian barricades are ADA compliant. We have a number of products that relate specifically to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and these products are preferred for the people with disabilities that this act protects. These ADA compliant pedestrian barricades include the Safety rail and trademarked SafetyWall, which has a continuous bottom with a gap of less than 2 inches between the barrier and the ground and smooth, continuous trailing top. We also supply temporary modular ramps and platforms which are 4 feet wide with a non-slip surface.

Types of Pedestrian Barricades

Barricade Fence can consist of a range of fencing panels to temporarily barricade a specific area. These engineer grade panels do a great job to limit traffic to specific areas, and are often used around construction sites, demolition sites, and large pay-to-enter events where controlling access protects profits.

Traffic Cones can be used to limit traffic, though their light weight and ease of placement means they can also be moved easily to allow for emergency traffic. Because of their easy, stackable storage and fast, light deployment, traffic cones continue to be a popular option for many organizations, serving a wide range of purposes.

NatCap Traffic Safety and Construction Site Supplies

Whether your company needs traffic barriers, construction site fences, pedestrian crowd control, or any of our many other offerings, National Capital Industries has what you need. In addition to our wide assortment of barriers for sale or rent, we also provide a wide range of other supplies for your business, including safety apparel, hand tools, fall protection, personal safety equipment, signage, lighting, pavement marking supplies and equipment, concrete and asphalt supplies, and general job site cleanup and material protection products.

With four convenient locations around the Washington, D.C., greater metropolitan area, you’ll always find a National Capital location convenient for your needs, and our over sixty years supporting contractors in the D.C. area means that we already know what you need for your next project. Please feel free to reach out to our team of experienced professionals today with any questions, for more details on our products or to get a quote on our wide range of road and general construction materials.