Counter-Terrorism: Children of the Jersey Barrier


September 27, 2005: Most of us are familiar with the concrete "Jersey barriers" that separate lanes of traffic on roadways where medians are narrow. Moreover, portable versions are commonly found during highway construction. Made of 1½ cubic yards of concrete, often with reinforcing rods, the standard barrier is 12½-feet long and 32-inches high, and weighs about 2.9 tons. Designed so that they interlock, a row of portable Jersey barriers presents a formidable obstacle to vehicles trying to go where they are not supposed to be.

Named after the New Jersey Turnpike, which first introduced them over 50 years ago, variants of Jersey Barriers are found world-wide. In addition to helping to provide greater safety on highways, the Jersey barrier has proven a useful in the war on terrorist violence. So useful, in fact, that the Jersey Barrier now has offspring

· Texas Barriers: 6-foot tall versions of the standard barrier

· Alaska Barriers: 12-versions.

In Iraq, Jersey, Texas, and Alaska barriers are used to help create "off sets" to protect buildings against bomb-laden vehicles from approaching to closely, can be used to create "serpentine" approaches at check points, forcing vehicles into complex maneuvers that reduce their speeds, and are even used to strengthen the defenses of isolated outposts in Iraq's western desert.


Article Archive

Counter-Terrorism: Current 2021 2020 2019 2018 2017 2016 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008 2007 2006 2005 2004 



Help Keep Us Soaring

We need your help! Our subscription base has slowly been dwindling. We need your help in reversing that trend. We would like to add 20 new subscribers this month.

Each month we count on your subscriptions or contributions. You can support us in the following ways:

  1. Make sure you spread the word about us. Two ways to do that are to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.
  2. Subscribe to our daily newsletter. We’ll send the news to your email box, and you don’t have to come to the site unless you want to read columns or see photos.
  3. You can contribute to the health of StrategyPage. A contribution is not a donation that you can deduct at tax time, but a form of crowdfunding. We store none of your information when you contribute..
Subscribe   Contribute   Close