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Top-Mounted Sockets for Weak-Post MGS on Culverts




Ronald Faller, Scott Rosenbaugh, Mojdeh Asadollahipajouh




Top-mounted sockets for use with the weak-post, Midwest Guardrail System (MGS) on low-fill culverts were developed, tested, and evaluated. The system was adapted from the MGS bridge railing (and its other adaptations) for attachment to the top slab of a concrete box culvert. Three design concepts were developed and evaluated through dynamic component testing. Both lateral and longitudinal impacts were conducted on the design concepts while mounted to simulated concrete culverts. Two concepts, a cylindrical concrete foundation and a steel tube socket assembly, proved strong enough to withstand the impact loads transferred from the posts without sustaining significant damage or displacements. However, the third concept, a concrete slab, fractured and allowed the sockets to rotate back without developing the full bending strength of the posts. Thus, only the cylindrical concrete foundation and the steel tube socket assembly in combination with the weak-post, MGS were determined to be crashworthy according to the Manual for Assessing Safety Hardware (MASH) Test Level 3 (TL-3) impact safety criteria. The new top-mounted, socketed, weak-post, W-beam MGS for low-fill culverts was designed with multiple advantages over other guardrail treatments for culverts. The guardrail system has an unrestricted system length and does not require a transition when attached to standard MGS. The top-mounted system can be placed parallel to the roadway with a constant lateral offset regardless of the position and orientation of the culvert headwall. Additionally, the attachment configurations were designed utilizing epoxy anchors, enabling the system to be installed on new or existing culverts. Finally, the sockets remain undamaged during impact events, which allows for quick guardrail repairs by simply removing damaged posts, placing new replacement posts into the sockets, and replacing any damaged guardrail sections.


Roadside Safety, W-Beam, Guardrail, Culvert, Weak-Post, Non-Blocked, MASH 2016, MGS, Top-Mounted, Sockets, Bogie, Component Testing

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