Since vehicles move quickly while traveling on highways, those roads must include safety features in case drivers swerve. This is why you may need to hire a company to install guardrails to protect buildings, objects, and people beyond the highway’s edge. Guardrails will also help to keep the drivers themselves safe. Here’s what to consider when choosing highway guardrail systems.
The first detail to look at is the guardrail type, as this will have an effect on its utility in varying situations. W-beam guardrails are probably the most widespread type because they are easy to install no matter what the landscape around the road looks like. You also can adjust their design with either strong or weak posts. Three-beam guardrails are broader and therefore more resilient to impacts than standard W-beam variants. They’re useful on highways with many large vehicles, such as trucks. Cable guardrails are even easier and cheaper to install than W-beams, but they are weaker. Steel-backed timber guardrails and box beam guardrails are average in durability, but their advantage lies in the next point.
While the main goal of a guardrail is to improve safety, you may also want to consider its appearance. This is where steel-backed timber and box beam guardrails shine, as they are more attractive than regular guardrails. Steel-backed timber guardrails are mostly made of wood, so they blend well in forested and nature-dominated settings where metal might stick out as an eyesore. Box beam guardrails are made of steel, but they are smooth and rectangular with no odd bending or ridges, unlike typical steel construction. They are thus a sleeker alternative to the usual options.
As touched upon, the area in question can influence what you consider when choosing highway guardrail systems. If your highway is in a place where the guardrail’s look matters, you may choose timber or box beams. Consider also where the guardrails will go. For instance, you might require guardrails to line the sides of a bridge. There are also specialized bridge rails you could choose that are less bulky but still sturdy. As another example, the guardrails may need to run along a steep slope or cliff. W-beam guardrails might be best here because there are few challenges to their construction in those tight spaces, and they can halt vehicles passing through, whereas cable guardrails wouldn’t be substantial enough.
To find an expert guardrail installation company with experience working with both private and government clients in many regions, call Durham Fence & Guardrail today.