Jersey Barrier-a term that is seldom heard, but the item itself is very often seen. In fact, these barriers are responsible for saving lives every day. They populate the nation’s roadways providing protection to all its drivers. they are seemingly simple and mundane concrete fixtures that are most commonly used as median dividers. Making its debut on California highways in 1946, these barriers were developed at the Stevens Institute of Technology in New Jersey; hence the name “Jersey” Barrier. Even though these structures may appear to be simple and less than aesthetically pleasing they are actually very carefully engineered to serve a very specific purpose. Jersey Barriers are designed, as highway medians, to minimize damage to vehicles and injury to passengers in the incidence of an accident as well as prevent crossover into opposing lanes of traffic. When a vehicle strikes, it is designed such that the vehicle will roll, ultimately limiting injury to the driver and passengers. Additionally, they are constructed primarily of concrete with embedded steel and are incredibly portable, though they are designed to be made into permanent fixtures if needed.
Consequently, in recent years, the Jersey Barrier has found broader applications, demonstrating its continued utility in ensuring public safety. Over the years engineers have made alterations to the design and implementation as vehicle designs evolve, roadways are modified, and drivers develop. Due to this constant refinement, the Jersey Barrier has progressed to become a sophisticated piece of equipment. It has now become a standard fixture on a multitude of public construction sites such as roadway repair areas and commercial construction zones. Its purpose in these instances is much the same as the Jersey Barrier’s use as a highway median: directing traffic and protecting drivers and pedestrians. However, the Jersey Barrier has proven to be a valuable tool in a variety of other scenarios. Over the years the Jersey Barrier has developed to be an incredibly versatile tool. It has done so in a variety of ways and its applications seem to be ever expanding.
As demonstrated, the overarching purpose of the Jersey Barrier has always been and still remains safety. This is supported by its efficacy as a highway median and construction site blockade. This has led to the expansion of the barrier’s concept to other materials. Plastic and lightweight metals such as aluminum are just a few among several adaptations. The varied materials have allowed for Jersey Barriers to be used in a variety of ways. For instance, other more recent applications of the include a number of safety functions. One such purpose is crowd control. These barriers are placed to indicate which regions are permissible to spectators or whoever else intends to be in the area. It helps prevent bystanders from getting in the way of the respective proceedings, and more importantly keeps bystanders out of any potential harm’s way. Another use is for general protection, more specifically for the protection of important persons. Jersey Barriers can be placed to limit threats to individuals who require high levels of protection and security. A third, novel use is an extension of the Jersey Barrier’s original purpose, protecting vehicles, and pedestrians for that matter, from other possible dangers. In other words, this includes any opportunities for an accident to occur that is not posed by other vehicles. These are a few of the continually expanding applications of the Jersey Barrier.