History of the Jersey Barrier Industry

The importance and necessity to deploy concrete median Jersey barriers along traffic routes is no longer a debatable issue, as numerous studies and researches have amply demonstrated their functionality. From the very first time that the California highway authorities used the concrete Jersey barriers, along the Grapevine Grade, on the US route 99 in the year 1946 until date, the Jersey barriers have been instrumental in averting head on collisions and reducing fatalities on roads. The next important phase of deployment of the concrete barriers was in 1955, when the New Jersey State Highway Department developed and used the barriers to divide highway lanes. From then on, other state highway authorities recognized the importance of deploying the barriers and several states adopted these measures to advantage, on their roads and highways.

The concrete barriers underwent several changes in designs and specification in sizes from the early F-shaped barrier, constant slope barrier to the Ontario Tall Wall, California K-rails and the plastic barriers that are becoming increasingly popular. The earliest concrete barriers were not very tall structures; just 18 inches high, but as time went by, and vehicle designs changed and taller vehicles hit the roads, so did the heights of the barriers. Today we have median concrete Jersey barriers that are 3-5 feet tall. The basic design remains, as parabolic curved surfaces on either side as this has proved effective in redirecting the errant vehicle back into the traffic stream and minimizing damage in the event of an accident. Shea has been a pioneer in the production of precast concrete products since 1949 and their latest product is the J-J hook concrete barrier, which according to the company is extremely simple to assemble that, “Two men and a truck can install 6000 ft, in one shift.”

With the success of rotational molding and the use of plastics becoming commonplace, hundreds of new and cheap products for daily use were introduced in the markets. Huge plastic items like storage tanks for fuels, chemicals, and water, marine and recreational products, specialty furniture, and Jersey barriers were some such products that caught peoples’ fancy, as these items were lightweight yet strong, durable and easily portable. Several companies successfully created plastic barriers that were lightweight but used as barriers when ballasted with water, sand or any other ballast material. These companies have taken the functionality of the barriers to newer levels and today the barriers also function as crowd control barriers, force protection and anti-terrorism safety devices, and to cordon off gate approaches, construction zones, traffic control, airport security, air shows and race tracks.

Yodock Wall Company, Inc. a family based business, is a top name to reckon with in the plastic Jersey barriers and barricades industry. Manufacturing top quality barriers and barricades, this company serves several industries like traffic control, airport maintenance, military and Homeland security and general construction.

Armorcast Products established in 1966, has multiple manufacturing capabilities and they manufacture plastic Jersey barriers and other protective enclosures using rotational molding. Their safety and security barriers and barricades bear their logo, Guardian. Other companies that are relatively new entrants in the field of plastic Jersey barriers are Remcon Plastics Inc.,that entered the safety products market in 1990 and Rhino Safety Barriers incorporated in the year 1999. Both companies have introduced innovative designs and have products that comply with NCHRP 350 standards.

OTW Safety products sell their barriers under the Smart Jersey Barrier brand name and the company has been designing, testing, and manufacturing Jersey barriers since 1993. A market leader since 1988, Rochester Rotational Molding manufactures colorful Jersey barriers as well as accessories for the barriers like solar powered barricade lights and incandescent plastic barricade lights. With several such key players in the business, we can look forward to new, innovative designs and highly functional Jersey barriers.