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Construction BMP Guide: C103 High-Visibility Fence

High visibility fences can be plastic, metal, or fabric- depending on site conditions. These fences should be used to: 
  • Restrict clearing to approved limits. 
  • Prevent disturbance of sensitive areas, their buffers and other areas required to be left undisturbed. 
  • Limit construction traffic to designated construction entrances, exits, or internal roads. 
  • Protect areas where marking with survey tape may not provide adequate protection. 

*The contents of this guide are to provide a general overview only. It is users responsibility to ensure all BMPs utilized on their project meet the requirements of their state and local jurisdictions.

High visibility fence installed on an undisturbed area attached to metal stakes
A  high visibility fence can restrict clearing to approved limits and prevent disturbance to sensitive areas. Credit: WSDOT, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Flickr
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Two construction workers install a 4 foot HDPE construction fence
A properly installed high visibility fence can reduce erosion by protecting areas from unnecessary disturbance.

High-Visibility Fence Installation:

  • Plastic fencing should be composed of HDPE material that is a minimum of 4 feet in height. 
  • Posts for plastic fencing should be steel or wood placed no further than 6’ apart. 
  • Fencing should be high-visibility orange and fastened to the post every 6 inches. 
  • Use a tension wire or rope for long stretches of plastic fencing to prevent sagging. 
  • If appropriate, install a fabric silt fence in accordance with BMP 233E (Silt Fence) to act as a high-visibility fence. Silt fencing should be a minimum of 3 feet high and must be highly visible to meet the criteria of this BMP. 
  • Metal fences should be at least 3 feet tall and highly visible. 
  • Do not wire or stable fences to trees. 
Frequently inspect your fencing to ensure it is undamaged and is effectively protecting areas you wish to remain undisturbed.

High-Visibility Fence Maintenance:

  • Inspect fences for damage and visibility.
  • Repair or replace any fence that is damaged or has reduced visibility.  
  • Inspect for vehicles and equipment bypassing construction entrance or entering areas you wish to remain undisturbed, add additional high-visibility fence where needed.