Guardrails are musts for roadside safety because they slow down vehicles and prevent them from careening too far to the side if they veer off the road. Installing a guardrail is by no means a one-size-fits-all procedure, and variations with differing strengths and weaknesses exist for different scenarios. To keep you informed, we’ll examine the different guardrail types and styles.

W-Beam Guardrail

This is among the most common guardrail types you’ll see. W-beam guardrails are made of steel that’s often treated for weather-resistance through galvanization. They’re popular because they can be installed in most settings, including bridges, with relative ease. The rails themselves can also be attached to strong or weak posts. The “W” in the name comes from the shape of the rails, which resemble the letter turned sideways when viewed from either end.

Box-Beam Guardrail

Following the same naming convention as the W-beam, box-beam guardrails are shaped like elongated rectangular prisms. They also don’t require much maintenance, as their steel surfaces can be galvanized and powder-coated. They tend to have a bit less strength than the other beam guardrails, but they do have a cleaner, smoother appearance.

Three-Beam Guardrail

The rails on this type of guardrail have one more “V” ridge than W-beam guardrails. Since this guardrail is significantly wider, it boasts higher strength. It can successfully deflect heavier vehicles that possess higher centers of gravity. As with the other beam guardrails, three-beam guardrails are composed of treated steel that stands up to outdoor conditions.

Steel-Backed Timber Guardrail

Designed to be more visually attractive than industrial beam guardrails, steel-backed timber guardrails are made of rectangular or round pieces of wood. The posts are also made of timber, giving the guardrail an organic or rustic look. Steel plates are placed behind the wooden component of the railing to provide the extra strength it needs to redirect vehicles.

Cable Barrier

Cable barriers have no true rails—instead, steel cables are threaded through steel posts to form the barrier. Cable barriers cover up less of the roadside and require less material, making them more affordable to implement. They also leave more space for pedestrians and cyclists. Despite these advantages, they may not always be desirable because they have less strength and must be repaired any time a vehicle makes contact with them.

If you’re searching “guardrail installation companies near me” in Connecticut, contact Durham Fence & Guardrail. We have expertise installing guardrails at federal, state, and municipal levels, and we can provide consultation on which type will be best suited for a project’s individual needs.