Guardrail Replacement and Repair
Guardrails and median barriers are used to redirect vehicles away from more hazardous objects and are among the most basic roadside safety features implemented on the County’s roadways. They are designed to prevent vehicles from leaving the roadside and becoming involved in more hazardous collisions. Many different types of guardrails and median barriers have been designed, tested, installed, and evaluated. Installation of guardrails is normally warranted by the presence of one or several of the following features along a roadway: high embankments with steep side slopes; sharp curves; obstacles such as bridges, piers and sign supports less than thirty (30) feet from the edge of the travel-way; or other non-traversable hazards such as streams. If residents happen to notice missing or damaged guardrail sections, we ask that they alert us through our on-line Maintenance Request Form.
Guardrails will be installed on slopes with fills of eight (8) feet or more with slopes steeper than 4:1 in accordance with the County's Road Ordinance and AASHTO safety guidelines. Over 4000 linear feet of guardrail is bid and placed annually as a part of this program. Damaged sections may be reported directly to the Highway Maintenance Division personnel. Reflective delineators and object markers are also mounted along the side of the roadway, in series, to indicate roadway alignment and safely guide motorists. Application includes guardrail, bridge piers, curbed islands and other physical barriers in accordance with MUTCD guidelines.
As of January 2008, the DPW&T has responsibility of maintaining an inventory of 80,668 linear feet of guardrail. Typically, all repair and maintenance work is completed by the successful bidder between the months of April and May prior to the onset of the construction season and is monitored by the Construction & Inspections Division. Since 1991, costs have increased from a unit price of approximately $9.50 to $39.00 per linear foot of guardrail, $6.00 to $20.00 per linear foot for extra length posts and $500 to $950 each for type I end flares. In 1998, due to the difficulty in the installation and field fabrication of curved sections of guardrail by maintenance crews, overall work backlog and in an effort to improve productivity, the Highway Maintenance Division included operational monies for routine repair of guardrail.