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MASH Test Designation Nos. 3-11 & 3-17 of a Non-Proprietary, High-Tension Cable Median Barrier with Closed-Section Posts




Karla Lechtenberg (Polivka), Terrance Ball, Ronald Faller, Jim Holloway, Andrew Loken




This study is part of an ongoing effort undertaken by the Midwest Pooled Fund Program to develop a non-proprietary, high-tension cable median barrier for use in a 6H:1V median V-ditch. The system is composed of posts spaced at 8 to 16 ft (2.4 to 4.9 m) to which four cables are attached using clips and tabbed brackets. Previous iterations of the system have failed to meet the safety criteria of the Manual for Assessing Safety Hardware, Second Edition (MASH 2016), primarily due to floor pan tearing caused by the sharp edges of the open-section posts used in earlier designs. After a series of investigations to mitigate the obstacles encountered in previous tests, a cable median barrier system with closed-section posts was developed. The design featured HSS3x2x⅛ (76x51x3) posts with weakening holes drilled at the ground line to reduce bending strength and, in turn, the propensity for floor pan tearing. To assess the crashworthiness of the modified system design, two full-scale crash tests adhering to the criteria of MASH 2016 test designation nos. 3-11 and 3-17 were performed. The system successfully contained the 2270P and 1500A test vehicles and satisfied the MASH 2016 safety criteria. In test no. MTP-1, the vehicle sustained no floor pan damage and in test no. MTP-2, the vehicle experience minor floor pan deformation that fell within the MASH 2016 criteria, demonstrating improved behavior of the closed-section post over previous open-section iterations. The dynamic deflection and working width of the system were measured via high-speed video analysis at 101.8 in. (2,586 mm) and 102.1 in. (2,593 mm) for test no. MTP-1 and 112.6 in. (2,860 mm) and 146.4 in. (3,719 mm) for test no. MTP-2, respectively. The performance of the modified system in these tests indicate a design that, with further crash testing, could provide the states with the opportunity to implement an effective cable median barrier on level terrain and in V-ditch medians along the nation’s highways and roadways.


Highway Safety, Crash Test, Roadside Appurtenances, Compliance Test, MASH 2016, Longitudinal Barrier, Cable Barrier, Median Barrier, High-Tension, V-Ditch

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