What is a Barricade?


What is the origin of the word “barricade”?

 From French, going back to Middle French, from barrique “barrel,” a typical component of barricades. It originally meant “a defensive barrier hastily constructed, as in the street, to stop an enemy.” Adopted as a military term, a barricade denotes any improvised field fortification.


What is a contemporary definition of “barricade”?

A contemporary definition of a barricade, when used for traffic control, is “a portable or fixed device having one to three rails with appropriate markings and is used to control road use by closing, restricting, or delineating all or a portion of a right-of-way.” Barricades are considered “channelizing devices.”


What is the purpose of a barricade?

The purpose of a barricade is to act as a warning device that alerts others of the hazards created by construction activities or incidents. They should be used to safely control vehicular and pedestrian traffic through or around construction work and incident sites.


What are the classifications or types of barricades?

According to top the FHWA’s MUTCD (Sections 6F.68 and 6F.69), there are four classifications or types of barricades

  • Type 1 Barricade
  • Type 2 Barricade
  • Type 3 Barricade


  • a Direction Indicator Barricade.


What is the most common type of barrier, and what is it used for?

From Flex-safe USA’s perspective, the most common type of barricades is Type 1 and Type 2. They both have a minimum working length of 24 inches, which makes them easier to transport and set up.


Do the four types of barricades have similar design standards and options? 

The four types of barricades all have some design standards in common – such as the use of retroreflective stipes and banner rail width. But, then, other standards and options are unique to each type of barricade. So again, Section 6F of the MUTCD is the best source of information.