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Development, Testing, and Evaluation of NDOR's TL-5 Aesthetic Open Concrete Bridge Rail




Karla Lechtenberg (Polivka), Ronald Faller, Jim Holloway, John Rohde, Dean Sicking




A new Test Level (TL-5) aesthetic open concrete bridge railing system was developed, crash tested, and evaluated for use with reinforced concrete bridge decks. The 1,067-mm (42-in.) high bridge rail was constructed 37.03-m (121-ft 6-in.) long with fifteen bridge posts, each measuring 267-mm (10.5-in.) wide x 762-mm (30-in.) long x 305-mm (12-in.) high. Post spacings were 2,591 mm (8 ft-6 in.) on centers. One full-scale crash test, using a 35,822-kg (78,975-lb) tractor/trailer vehicle impacting at a speed of 79.6 km/h (49.4 mph) and at an angle of 16.3 degrees, was conducted and reported in accordance with the requirements specified in the National Cooperative Highway Research Program (NCHRP) Report No. 350, Recommended Procedures for the Safety Performance Evaluation of Highway Features. The safety performance of the aesthetic open concrete bridge rail was determined to be acceptable according to the TL-5 evaluation criteria specified in NCHRP Report No. 350. The research study also included additional structural analysis and design on several variations of the aesthetic bridge rail. The design variations included: (1) a TL-5 closed bridge railing; (2) a TL-5 closed median barrier; (3) a TL-4 closed bridge railing; and (4) a TL-4 open concrete bridge railing.


Highway Safety, Aesthetic Barrier, Bridge Rail, Concrete Parapet, Roadside Appurtenances, Crash Test, Compliance Test

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