The Purpose of Concrete Islands

5-year highway bill

Concrete islands, also known as traffic islands, are humble but crucial parts of road construction.

Reliable Contracting performs many construction projects in central Maryland, including in the realm of paving. Concrete and asphalt paving projects are Reliable’s specialties, and you can see in their portfolio what large-scale jobs they have accomplished, even winning awards. As part of a concrete paving design, concrete islands may be a part of it. What is the purpose of concrete islands? Find out all that they do below.

Provide Refuge for Pedestrians

What do those raised concrete slabs in the middle of the road do? There are different kinds of concrete islands, and one type is called a refuge traffic island. They provide a safe haven for pedestrians to stand as they traverse busy roadways. For example, when crossing a four-lane highway with opposing traffic, you might find a refuge traffic island between the opposing lanes as a stopping point for pedestrians.

Direct Traffic in Roundabouts

If you have ever driven through a roundabout, you have seen a rotary traffic island. These circular or oblong concrete structures help make traffic paths as clear as possible. Such intersections can easily lead to confusion (especially for new drivers.) An extra traffic control feature helps traffic go smoothly.

Manage Traffic at Intersections

Intersections, in general, can be confusing if drivers are rushing, careless, or unaware of traffic rules. Intersections might have a channelizing concrete island to slow drivers down and make traffic directions clearer. You might see concrete traffic islands on smaller roads at neighborhood intersections, crosswalks, etc.

Divide Opposing or Same-Way Traffic

Of especial concern are left turns at intersections or blind left turns. You might see a long concrete island to help drivers know what lane to turn into. They are also common for busy two-lane roads with opposing two-lane traffic and exits. In summary, they help channel traffic for left turns and separate lanes for opposing traffic and exits.

Improve Traffic Safety

Ultimately, the job of any concrete island is to improve traffic safety by making traffic directions clearer or slowing traffic down. Could they be a part of your local concrete construction project? Learn more with Reliable Contracting!


Reliable is dedicated to delivering quality products, displaying professionalism within the firm, seeking new opportunities for expansion and profitability, and providing an environment for individual success. If you have a commercial or residential construction project that you need taken care of, please contact Anne Arundel County’s largest site-work contractor today by calling 410-987-0313 or visiting our website. You can also follow Reliable Contracting on Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and Twitter!

Reliable Contracting Company serves the following and surrounding counties: Annapolis, Queen Anne’s, Anne Arundel, Baltimore, Baltimore City, Calvert, Caroline, Charles, Howard, Prince George, St. Mary’s, Talbot, and Washington D.C.

This entry was posted on Wednesday, July 26th, 2023 at 11:55 am. Both comments and pings are currently closed.