Can I use my old steel barrels and homemade wooden barricades in a work zone?

In short, NO.

All devices in a work zone should be “crashworthy.” This includes sign supports, barrels, cones, and barricades. Steel drums and homemade wooden type 3  barricades should not be used as they cause too much damage to a vehicle and can become a flying object when struck. While some smaller (less than 4 feet long) type 1 and 2 barricades may be OK, it may not be worth the risk to continue to use them. Many Type 1 and 2 devices have been found to be crashworthy by modeling or by expert opinion without actually being crash tested.  Other types of devices such as steel barrels and homemade devices would need to be crash tested or found to be crashworthy.

The FHWA keeps a list of approved hardware for work zones as well as frequently asked questions on the web. In addition, NYSDOT also keeps a list of additional traffic control devices approved for use in New York State. In addition, NYSDOT has a full page on work zone traffic control. On the page are links to standard sheets for making your own barricades and sign supports out of plastic pipe or steel tubes.

Photograph of intersection  with example of signs

Resources

Questions and Answers: About Crash Testing of Work Zone Safety Appurtenances

Acceptable crashworthy category 2 hardware for work zones

NYSDOT Technical Services - Materials - Approved List: Traffic Control Devices

NYSDOT: Work Zone Traffic Control

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