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Development of a Post-to-Deck Connection for a TL-4 Steel-Tube Bridge Rail

REPORT NUMBER

TRP-03-409-20

AUTHORS

Jennifer Rasmussen (Schmidt), Ronald Faller, Scott Rosenbaugh, Bob Bielenberg, Joshua Steelman, Cody Stolle

PUBLICATION DATE

2020-05-27

ABSTRACT

A new post-to-deck connection was designed for mounting an upcoming Manual for Assessing Safety Hardware, Second Edition (MASH 2016) Test Level 4 (TL-4) steel-tube bridge rail to the side of the bridge deck to limit the impact load transferred to the deck and to minimize the propensity for deck damage during impacts. With preference for the bridge rail system to be compatible for use on all deck configurations, the Illinois and Ohio Departments of Transportation desired the new system to attach to bridge decks comprised of concrete slabs or precast prestressed, concrete box-beam girders. A new post-to-deck connection for a new MASH 2016 TL-4 steel-tube bridge rail was developed and tested. The connection featured a W6x15 steel post to be side-mounted to bridge decks. A post-to-deck connection concept was developed and optimized through dynamic component testing. Lateral impacts were conducted on the design concepts, side-mounted to a concrete box-beam girder. For the dynamic component testing, post-to-deck connection configurations varied on the type of welded post assembly connecting to longitudinal tubes, which in turn mounted to various anchors cast within the box-beam girder. The resulting damage from each test varied from plastic deformation of the post between two plate attachments on the post assembly or post bending above one plate attachment due to the development of a plastic hinge near the surface of the deck. The post-to-deck connection featuring a singular plate attachment was recommended for use based on the post bending near the surface of the deck, as intended.

KEYWORDS

Post-to-Deck, Steel-Tube, Bridge Rail, Roadside Safety, MASH TL-4, and Component Testing

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