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Safety Performance Evaluation of the George Washington Memorial Parkway Bridge Rail


TRP-03-045-94 (GWMP)


Brian Pfeifer, Douglas Whitehead, Ronald Faller




Three full-scale crash tests were conducted on the George Washington Memorial Parkway bridge rail. The bridge rail is constructed with three steel tube rails supported by steel posts spaced on 7 ft. 9.5 in. (2.38 m) centers, and mounted on an 8 in. (20.3 cm.) curb. The first test consisted of an 1850 lb (839 kg) minicompact car impacting at a speed of 54.4 mph (87.5 km/h) and 22.6 degrees. This test passed the required safety criteria, so the final test was conducted with a 5400 lb pickup truck impacting at 46.6 mph (73.5 km/h) and 22.7 degrees. The tests were evaluated according to the performance level 1 (PL-1) criteria for bridge railings presented in the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) Guide Specifications for Bridge Railings. There were conducted and reported in accordance with requirements specified in the National Cooperative Highway Research Program (NCHRP) Report No. 230, Recommended Procedures for the Safety Performance Evaluation of Highway Appurtenances. The performance of the George Washington Memorial Parkway bridge rail was determined to be acceptable according to the AASHTO PL-1 guidelines.


Highway Safety, Roadside Safety, Bridge rail, Steel rails, NCHRP-230, AASHTO, PL-1, Crash Test

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