What To Consider Before Guardrail Installation

What To Consider Before Guardrail Installation

If roads and streets fall under your jurisdiction, you must ensure their safety for drivers, even as they traverse challenging terrain or negotiate sharp turns. Here’s what to consider before guardrail installation in your city, village, or township.

Cost-Benefit Analysis

When maintaining and expanding infrastructure outside of state and federal jurisdiction, municipalities must always consider how they allocate finite resources. You need to determine the costs and benefits of guardrail installation before making a purchase. Would installing a guardrail minimize or mitigate accidents along this stretch of road? Have citizens made requests for guardrails in treacherous spots? If a new road cuts through dangerous terrain, would the city be held liable for failing to install guardrails? These are all questions to ask, in addition to how much the local government will pay.

Different Models To Choose From

Guardrails aren’t a one-size-fits-all product. Cities and villages can install several different models along their roads to accommodate varying road situations and budgets. Wood and cable guardrails, the simplest and most inexpensive style, suit low-traffic areas to delineate roads from adjacent properties. More treacherous conditions call for steel guardrails mounted along wood or metal posts. Box beams are popular along straight stretches of road, while the more popular W-beam construction handles dangerous curves. Concrete barriers, also known as Jersey barriers from their prevalence in the highway-heavy Garden State, can divide lanes of traffic within a roadway. These solid barriers do the most work to prevent collisions on a roadway, particularly during road construction. But they’re also the most expensive to purchase and install.

Consider Surroundings

You should assess what else lies along the roadway when considering guardrail installation. Are there sturdy trees or sharp embankments along the road? Would a collision with a utility pole pose a grave threat? Take note of these hazards surrounding a road and proceed accordingly.


Leave a Comment