barrier

Word of the Day

barrier

Pronunciation /ˈbarɪə/
noun
1 A fence or other obstacle that prevents movement or access.
1.1 British A gate at a car park or railway station that controls access by being raised or lowered.
1.2 A circumstance or obstacle that keeps people or things apart or prevents communication or progress.

Origin
Late Middle English (denoting a palisade or fortification defending an entrance): from Old French barriere, of unknown origin; related to barre.

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Keeping high speed traffic on major highways safely separated is the job of carefully designed concrete barriers.

These barriers were once poured in place, but because they were also found to be very effective in temporary installations, they have been frequently implemented as linked, portable, modules during major highway construction or repair. They are known as K-Rail barriers and Jersey Barriers, though I’m told by a resident of New Jersey, USA, (where the state’s department of transportation directed much of their development in the 1950s) that she has only heard “Jersey barriers” outside of New Jersey. In the UK, they are called concrete step barriers.

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