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Bridge Rails and Transitions for Pedestrian Protection




Nicholas Hiser, Ronald Faller, Dean Sicking, John Rohde, John Reid, Karla Lechtenberg




It is desirable to protect pedestrians on bridges from motor vehicles. However, transition problems arise at the ends of bridges where the bridge rail, bridge rail end treatment, and pedestrian walkway compete for the limited available space. The objective of this study was to identify the most common scenarios in which the protection of pedestrians on bridges is desirable, and then to develop bridge rail and bridge rail end treatment configurations to accommodate those situations. The objective was achieved by performing a field investigation, a survey of state transportation agencies, and a literature review. Recommendations for the placement and general design of standard barrier configurations have been provided in the form of thirteen generalized site drawings. The barrier configurations outlined within this report were based on NCHRP Report No. 350 approved hardware, roadside hardware meeting prior safety standards, hardware believed to provide moderate safety, hardware currently under development, and sound engineering judgement. Therefore, the barrier configurations recommended herein are not equivalent in terms of the level of pedestrian safety provided. As a result, sound engineering judgement is required when determining which barrier configuration to implement for providing pedestrian protection on and near the ends of bridges.


Highway Safety, Roadside Safety, Bridge Railing, Approach Guardrail Transition, Longitudinal Barrier, Pedestrian Protection, Bicycle Protection

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