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The National Academies

NCHRP 22-55 [Anticipated]

Develop, Fabricate, and Test Surrogate Bogey Vehicles and Pendulum Masses with Noses for Evaluating MASH Breakaway Performance of Luminaire Poles, Signs, and Work Zone Devices

  Project Data
Source: AASHTO Committee on Bridges and Structures
Funds: $850,000
Staff Responsibility: Waseem Dekelbab
Fiscal Year: 2022

This project has been tentatively selected and a project statement (request for proposals) is expected to be available on this website. The problem statement below will be the starting point for a panel of experts to develop the project statement.

Historically, roadside safety features have been subjected to crashworthiness evaluations using a variety of impact test specifications and/or guidelines. With the AASHTO Manual for Assessing Safety Hardware (MASH) guidelines, elimination of surrogate vehicle testing, the addition of a pickup truck test condition, the existence of numerous luminaire poles, sign supports, and work-zone traffic control devices, and the increased cost to certify these devices, crashworthiness evaluations and innovation have stagnated for many of these devices. As a result, there exists a need to re-examine the use of surrogate vehicle testing in the crashworthiness evaluations of luminaire poles, sign supports, and light-weight, work-zone traffic control devices. The development of robust, surrogate bogey vehicles, with an ability to largely capture vehicle deformation and penetrations as well as accurate system behavior, would reduce crash testing costs and promote greater innovation for new products for manufacturers and state departments of transportation (DOTs). Motorist safety of U.S. roadways would be enhanced as more AASHTO MASH-compliant systems become available and are implemented.

The main objective of the research study is to develop, fabricate, test, and evaluate surrogate bogey vehicles and pendulum masses (referred to a surrogate devices) for determining Test Level 3 MASH 2016 crashworthiness with passenger vehicles for breakaway luminaire poles, sign supports, and work-zone traffic control devices used in permanent and temporary applications.

State DOTs are required to install crashworthy safety hardware along freeways, interstates, highways, and roadways. In recent years, AASHTO and FHWA agreed to a roadside safety hardware implementation plan corresponding to AASHTO’s Manual for Assessing Safety Hardware (2016), which included breakaway luminaire poles, sign supports, and work-zone traffic control devices. Each hardware category consists of hundreds, maybe even thousands, of combinations that require crashworthiness testing and evaluations. The development of surrogate testing devices would reduce complaint testing costs, increase innovation, and promote testing and evaluation of a greater number of devices in the noted roadside safety hardware categories. Over time, more MASH-compliant devices would be placed along U.S. highways and roadways, thus benefiting the motoring public and helping to reduce roadside fatalities and serious injuries.

 

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