The Importance of Temporary Construction Barriers for Ontario's Highways

Updated: May 17

They say there are two seasons in Ontario: winter and construction.

While that may be an exaggeration, what’s true is that Ontario’s climate can wreak havoc on major roadways. Construction projects take up a good portion of the warmer months both because of this fact, and also because there is a lot of development happening in the province that requires road construction, expansions, signage changes, and more.

What Are Temporary Construction Barriers?

Many roadway construction projects require construction barriers.

You’ve likely already seen temporary construction barriers on major highways in Canada, but have you ever wondered what types of materials are used in those barriers, and why that particular material was chosen? What about the placement of the barriers in relation to each other, and proximity to construction vehicles/workers? All of this work is conducted behind the scenes to ensure the safest and most efficient products are used for these types of projects.

Temporary construction barriers have been used for years to keep highway construction workers safe while they’re on the job. They mitigate and prevent severe accidents in very dangerous conditions.

Over time, temporary construction barriers have evolved. The technology has improved, in that certain materials work better for a variety of reasons, taking into account climate, environment, speed limits, and busyness of the highway in question, among other things.

Temporary Construction Barriers on a roadway
Temporary construction barriers

Why Are Temporary Construction Barriers Used?

Temporary construction barriers serve a specific purpose, as intimated by their name. Depending on the nature of the construction work required, different temporary construction barriers will be used. Sometimes the barriers will need to account for pedestrian walkways. In other cases, the barriers need to account for service vehicle access points.

Some temporary construction barriers are placed on busy roadways where personnel are working close to traffic lanes. In cases like this, the barriers need to be strong enough to prevent a vehicle from entering the work area. A traffic management framework should be compiled for the area so that traffic disruption will be minimal and work can still carry on efficiently.

To understand which barrier configuration will be optimal for a given roadway construction project, a site inspection, work zone staging, and project analysis will need to be conducted. This will take several factors into consideration including optimal construction times, the busyness of the roadway, access points, and traffic management plans.

In short, a lot of planning and research goes into setting up temporary construction barriers for any given highway construction project. That’s why it’s important to hire a company that has decades of experience in traffic management and road safety to plan and install temporary construction barriers for a construction project.

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