What You Need to Know about Slipform Barrier Wall Construction

While road safety statistics have been steadily improving over the last decade or so, there's always room for further gain and especially on roads where the average speed tends to be higher. If you're responsible for a stretch of highway that's not as protected as it should be and may feature a grass central reservation rather than anything more substantial, you may be looking at dividing options. Consequently, you may be thinking about how to introduce a barrier along the entire length of the central divide, but did you know that there is a better solution than the traditional 'Jersey' barrier? What is involved in the newest type of slipform barrier wall construction?

Barrier Efficiency

Concrete highway barriers are highly effective at keeping an out-of-control vehicle on its side of the street and preventing it from any encounter with oncoming traffic lanes. They're designed to minimise damage to each vehicle and to keep the passengers as safe as possible in the event of a collision. The design of these barriers has gone unchanged over many years until recently, when slipform barriers were introduced. They can be installed quite efficiently due to the type of machinery involved, which has the ability to extrude very large cross-sections of the barrier wall at any one time.

Organisation and Preparation

Before a slipform barrier can be introduced, a number of questions need to be asked about the site, its accessibility and the methodology used.

For example, you need to fully understand the working conditions and how they may be affected by inclement weather or traffic levels. You need to determine if concrete supply can be delivered on a continuous basis for maximum productivity. Before the slipform barrier can be introduced, the sub-grade and sub-base will need to be prepared carefully, and this is often outsourced to a separate contractor.


Remember that local government agencies may specify the make-up of the barrier and, in particular, the mix of concrete, the amount of reinforced steel within and the final quality of the extruded barrier. Some jurisdictions insist upon certain construction methods and may not allow hand finishing, while others will allow this so long as the wall is made within very tight tolerances.

Choosing Carefully

Not every concrete supplier or contractor is able to tackle this type of job. Make sure that you choose a company that has experience in slipform barrier construction so that your finished product is both approved and suitable.