Large cities with multiple highways and roadways deal with this decision on a yearly basis: whether or not they should install guardrails. Guardrails are meant as a protective barrier for vehicles traveling along roadways in the event that the driver loses control or some obstruction causes them to crash. In a smaller town, is it necessary to install guardrails on your existing roads? There are a few questions to consider before making this decision.
Is the Section Safer with the Guardrail?
Take a look at the section of roadway you are considering placing a guardrail on, and survey it to see if it would be safer with the guardrail than without. Guardrails can actually become more of a hazard than a help in certain sections of roadway, like if there isn't much of a clearance between the roadway and where the barrier would be placed for cars to pass. This could make it more dangerous to install a guardrail than to not have one at all. If the guardrail is more of a hazard than what it would be shielding, it is better to forgo the installation.
Does It Need a Guardrail?
Towns and cities plan their infrastructure over time and things can change before the actual installation takes place. For example, if your town had decided on a guardrail in a certain section and then something has changed to alter the geography of the area, such as a wider roadway or new development off the side of the road, is it still necessary to install a guardrail in that section?
Does It Shield the Hazard Correctly?
There is a possibility that even with a guardrail, motorists can still reach the hazard you are trying to shield them from. This could be a gully, ditch, rock formation, or some other obstruction that extends along the roadway. In some areas, there isn't enough space to install a guardrail and it thus could leave portions of the road open to where the obstruction is located anyway. In this case, is it necessary to still install a guardrail along the parts where there is enough room to place it?
Does Any Grading Need to Be Done?
If you are planning to install a guardrail along a natural slope or hillside, you will need to know if the area needs any grading before proceeding. If so, you will have to budget for it and plan out the installation of the guardrail for after the grading is completed. The plans for the guardrail will have to fit the design of the grading done as well.
For more information, talk to companies like Traffic Control Products Company of LA, Inc.