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Development and Evaluation of the Midwest Guardrail System (MGS) Placed Adjacent to a 2:1 Fill Slope

REPORT NUMBER

TRP-03-185-10

AUTHORS

Mitch Wiebelhaus, Karla Lechtenberg, Ronald Faller, Dean Sicking, Bob Bielenberg, John Reid, John Rohde, Gopi Dey

PUBLICATION DATE

2010-02-24

ABSTRACT

W-beam guardrail is often used to protect motorists from steep roadside slopes adjacent to high-speed roadways. Although previously designed systems have demonstrated acceptable safety performance, the long posts and half-post spacing have proven to be both costly and introduce maintenance challenges. Furthermore, the improved redirective capacity of the Midwest Guardrail System (MGS) provides the opportunity to eliminate the need for half-post spacing and thereby greatly reduces the cost of placing a barrier at the slope break point. A stiffened version of the MGS was developed for use adjacent to steep roadside slopes. The new design incorporates 2,743-mm (9-ft) long posts on a 1,905 mm (75 in.) spacing. With the top of the W-beam mounted at a height of 787 mm (31 in.), this guardrail was successfully crash tested according to the Manual for Assessing Safety Hardware (MASH) safety performance evaluation criteria. Hence, the stiffened MGS guardrail design with full post spacing is acceptable for use on the National Highway System. This new guardrail design will provide a safe and economical alternative for use along highways with steep slopes very close to the travelway.

KEYWORDS

Highway Safety, Crash Test, Roadside Appurtenance, Compliance Test, MASH, Longitudinal Barrier, Guardrail, Midwest Guardrail System, Roadside Slopes, 2H:1V

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