The National Academies

NCHRP 22-36 [Final]

Synthesis of the Performance of Portable Concrete Barrier Systems

  Project Data
Funds: $50,000
Research Agency: Texas A&M Transportation Institute
Principal Investigator: Dr. Chiara Silvestri Dobrovolny
Effective Date: 7/13/2018
Completion Date: 3/12/2019

In 2009, the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) implemented an updated guideline for the evaluation of roadside hardware. The new AASHTO Manual for Assessing Safety Hardware (MASH) improved the criteria for evaluating roadside hardware beyond those provided in the National Cooperative Highway Research Program (NCHRP) Report No. 350 through updates to test vehicles, test matrices, and impact conditions. In an effort to encourage state departments of transportation and hardware developers to advance their hardware designs, the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and AASHTO have collaborated to develop a MASH implementation policy that includes sunset dates for various categories of roadside hardware. The new policy will require that devices installed on federal-aid roadways after the sunset dates must satisfy MASH. Temporary work-zone devices, including portable barriers, let on projects after December 31, 2019, must have been successfully tested using MASH 2016. Devices used on projects let before this date may continue to be used throughout their normal service lives. Thus, an opportunity exists to develop a high-performance portable barrier system that meets the MASH safety criteria as well as address the deflection, stability, and durability concerns of most current portable barrier designs. Before developing a new system, there is a need to review the performance of existing and under development non-proprietary portable concrete barrier (PCB) systems.
The objectives of this research are to (1) synthesize information on the performance of existing or under development non-proprietary portable concrete barrier systems and (2) propose recommendations for future research needs to improve the performance of PCB. At a minimum, the following considerations should be included in the evaluation of PCB systems:
  • At minimum, satisfy the AASHTO MASH Test Level 3 crash testing requirements
  • Potential for post-impact vehicle instability, specifically reduced roll, and vehicle climb
  • System deflections
  • Free-standing and anchorage system including bridge decks
  • Transport, installation, and removal times
  • Durability .

The Agency's final report prepared under NCHRP Project 22-36 is available online at: https://onlinepubs.trb.org/onlinepubs/nchrp/docs/NCHRP22-36DraftReport-2019-03-08.pdf    (NCHRP Staff: W. Dekelbab)

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