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Section 4: Barrier Reflectors

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Introduction

Barrier reflectors (BR) are retroreflective devices used to inform motorists of the presence of a guardrail, bridge rail, or concrete barrier adjacent to the roadway during nighttime conditions.

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Barrier Reflector Design

Various types of barrier reflectors may be used to mark guardrail, bridge rail, or concrete barrier. Figure 8-9 indicates some of these devices.

Barrier Reflectors (click in image to see full-size image) Anchor: #i1001621

Figure 8-9. Barrier Reflectors

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Barrier Reflector Application

Barrier reflectors are used on guardrail, bridge rail, or concrete barrier. If used, the following guidelines apply:

  • Barrier reflectors do not replace required (shall) or recommended (should) delineation.
  • Barrier reflectors can be used in place of optional (may) delineation.
  • Barrier reflectors can be used in combination with delineators.
  • Continuous bi-directional (two-way) barrier reflectors or delineation should be provided along roadside barriers for two-way roadways. For one-way and multilane roadways, barrier reflectors can be uni-directional (one-way).
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Barrier Reflector Placement

  • If used, barrier reflectors should be placed in one of the following locations:
    • In the depressed center section of a W-beam guardrail (butterfly type retroreflective device, see Figure 8-10),
    • On top or on the side of concrete barrier (see Figure 8-10), or
    • On guardrail/bridge rail posts or blockouts.
  • Barrier reflectors should be installed a minimum of 18 inches above the edge of the pavement surface. Consistent barrier reflector height along the barrier is desired.

 Typical Barrier Reflector Installation (click in image to see full-size image) Anchor: #i1001623

Figure 8-10. Typical Barrier Reflector Installation

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Barrier Reflector Spacing

When used on straight sections of roadway, the spacing between barrier reflectors should be adjusted to ensure a minimum of three barrier reflectors are used, with a maximum spacing of 100 ft between any two barrier reflectors. When barrier reflectors are used along a curved section, Table 8-2 should be used to determine the appropriate barrier reflector spacing up to a maximum of 100 ft. Barrier reflectors may not be used to replace delineators on freeway or expressway curves. Figure 8-11 illustrates barrier reflector spacing.

Barrier Reflector Spacing (click in image to see full-size image) Anchor: #i1001625

Figure 8-11. Barrier Reflector Spacing

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