Complete Guide to Type I, II & III Traffic Barricades

Sonco Perimeter Security

Sonco Perimeter Security, May 9, 2024

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Complete Guide to Type I, II & III Traffic Barricades

Choosing the Best Traffic Barricades for the Job

As highway construction work rises yearly, crews, drivers and pedestrians are at increased risk of injury or death from vehicle collisions and jobsite incidents. Successful safety planning starts with the right equipment, and MASH-compliant, crashworthy traffic barricades are among the most popular equipment choices for roadways, walkways and events. 

SONCO’s crash-test compliant lineup of road and traffic barriers also pairs with LED lights and reflective accessories to increase barricade visibility and call out hazards before accidents occur. Utilize our roadway barricade lineup to block off highway work and excavation areas, create traffic roadblocks, delineate school zones, or control crowds and channelize foot traffic. Whether you need fixed or temporary traffic control, proper equipment performance depends on understanding the distinctions between Type I, II and III traffic barricades.   

As a nationwide supplier of MUTCD-compliant roadway barriers, SONCO helps construction managers, venue operators and public works departments discern between barricade styles and build effective safety arsenals. To remain compliant and minimize liability, check out this printable barricade guide — complete with feature lists and application tips! 

Traffic Control Barricades: The Basics 

Type I, II and III traffic barricades may appear similar, but they are designed for varying situations. Commonly seen at construction zones, collision scenes, parking lots, pedestrian zones, schools and event sites, these reflective A-frame and rail barricades come with multiple length, weight and sheeting options. 

Barricade types 1, 2 and 3 are designated based on size, shape and number of rails. Applications vary by project, and barricades may be equipped with lights and custom imprinting for enhanced visibility. Common traffic-control barrier uses include:  

  • Directing traffic flow
  • Controlling pedestrian & auto access
  • Marking off detours
  • Demarcating hazards
  • Securing construction zones
  • Containing events & guiding attendees

Type I Barricades: Single-Panel Style

Type 1 barricades are affordable, A-frame folding barriers with a single reflective rail. Ideal for safeguarding pedestrians and directing light street traffic, these “breakaway” barriers collapse upon impact to prevent accidental damage to vehicles or surfaces. SONCO grade 1 barriers are also NCHRP-350 approved as sign stands, accommodating signs up to 48” wide. When directing traffic or demarcating excavation areas, use Type 1 traffic barricades to display custom warning messages. 


  • Corrosion-proof, 100% recyclable HDPE construction
  • Top-fill water/sand holes or sandbag bars for ballasting
  • Three grades of changeable sheeting panels to meet striping requirements
  • Lightweight durability + built-in handle for one-person deployment
  • Nesting design for compact storage
  • Eye-catching, hi-viz color options
  • Recessed light brackets that protect LEDs from impact
  • Minimum 24” rail size with 8” x 24” or 12” x 24” sheeting
  • Meet MUTCD & NCHRP-350 standards


Built with a single reflective rail, Type I barricades are a cost-effective way to exert lightweight control over pedestrian areas, parking lots, small street repairs or crowds. Type I barriers are also popular for demarcating sidewalk sinkholes and small hazards and helping security personnel cordon off sensitive areas. Where heavier-duty road or crowd control is needed, SONCO recommends upgrading to Type II or III traffic barricades. Ask our consultants for approved Type 1 barricade uses, and consider these MASH-approved devices for projects like these: 

  • Parades & street fairs 
  • Small events or concerts
  • Municipal work zones
  • Light traffic safety & local street repairs
  • Airports & transportation hubs
  • Public works projects

Type II Barricades: Dual Rails

Choose NCHRP-350 certified, MUTCD-approved Type 2 traffic barricades for temporary traffic control, road closures, city events and heavier crowds. Type II barriers are smaller than Type III models, making them perfect for smaller spaces. Each Type II barrier has reflective sheeting on both upper and lower rails, optimizing visibility in low-light situations. Recessed light brackets also enable attachable LEDs, allowing devices to stand out at dusk, nighttime, or inside tunnels. 


  • Recessed, changeable sheeting to meet striping requirements
  • Choice of three sheeting grades
  • Corrosion-proof, 100% recyclable design
  • Easy nesting for compact storage
  • Eye-catching, hi-viz color choices
  • Recessed light brackets that protect LEDs from impact
  • Custom imprinting available
  • Choice of 24” or 36” width
  • Meet MUTCD and NCHRP-350 standards


SONCO Type 2 traffic barricades are a stable, long-lasting solution for indoor and outdoor use. Resisting sun, wind and demanding conditions, these one-piece traffic barricades are a durable crowd control tool for heavily trafficked areas. SONCO’s knowledgeable sales team helps you select the best barricade type for your job, often recommending Type II barricades for places where people and vehicles converge. In situations like these and more, many customers upgrade from Type I barriers to the more robust Type II version: 

  • Demarcating open trenches & other hazards
  • Securing building sites
  • Managing event parking
  • Delineating lane changes or closures
  • Type III Barricades: Triple-Panel Traffic Control

SONCO’s compliant Type 3 traffic barricades are a step up from Type 1 and 2 models, boasting three longer, reflective rails for hi-viz durability. Built from heavy-duty galvanized steel and weather-resistant plastic, they resist rust and defy harsh weather conditions while delivering maximum visual stopping power. Attach up to two LED lights with the recessed brackets, enabling your Type 3 barriers to stand out in tunnels, low-light situations or nightfall. Type III barricades are useful for high-speed freeways and heavy crowd conditions when Type I or II barriers are unsuitable. 


  • Recessed brackets for multiple barricade lights
  • MASH accepted; meets MUTCD requirements
  • Choice of sheeting grades
  • Corrosion-proof designs
  • Easy assembly with robust components
  • Eye-catching, hi-viz color choices
  • Custom imprinting available
  • Choice of feet styles for varying terrain
  • Large sizes designed to stop traffic


SONCO’s Type 3 devices are constructed for heavy-duty use and recommended for high-traffic situations and major events. A SONCO pro can help you choose the best Type III model for your application, which may include environments like these: 

  • Hazardous road conditions
  • High-traffic or interstate road repairs
  • Emergency response situations
  • Utility work or downed power lines
  • Mega-concerts & festivals
  • VIP & high-security events
  • Major lane closures

Shop Type I, II, III Barricades With SONCO

For pedestrian and traffic barricades proven to protect people and vehicles, shop the SONCO Store! Our safety experts are available by phone or email to assist you, and all traffic barricades are available in high-value discounted bundles. Discover why our traffic safety warehouse is rated 4.6/5 stars for service and product quality! Connect with a team member today. 

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