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Development of a New, MASH 2016 TL-3 Portable Barrier System – Phase I




Bob Bielenberg, Jessica Lingenfelter, Cody Stolle, Riley Ruskamp, Mojdeh Asadollahipajouh




Portable barrier systems are used to redirect errant vehicles through a combination of inertial resistance, lateral friction loads, and tensile loads developed from the mass and friction of the barrier segments. The design of portable barrier systems has evolved over time, but they are primarily comprised of safety-shape, reinforced concrete bodies with various end-to-end barrier connections to transfer load between the barrier segments. Currently, only a limited number of portable barrier designs have met the MASH TL-3 requirements. A concern with many portable barriers is the large dynamic deflections associated with these systems. Research has attempted to reduce deflections without anchoring the barrier segments, but the effectiveness of this approach is limited without modifications to the barrier segment. Furthermore, research and full-scale crash testing has shown that the sloped face of safety shape barriers causes increased vehicle instability, rollover, and significant vehicle climb. Thus, a new portable barrier design could provide reduced deflection without the use of anchors or other attachments to the road surface as well as allow for more economical and efficient installation of portable barriers. A literature search of portable barriers was conducted. Different material options for a new portable barrier were researched. Basic design criteria for the new portable barrier system were defined with input from Wisconsin Department of transportation and fabricators. Finally, conceptual designs were proposed and reviewed.


Highway Safety, Roadside Appurtenances, MASH 2016, Portable Barrier, Non-Proprietary, Work Zone

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