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Performance Evaluation of Safety Grates for Cross-Drainage Culverts




Karla Lechtenberg, Dean Sicking, John Reid, Bob Bielenberg, Ronald Faller, John Rohde




Cross-drainage culverts create numerous roadside hazards along our nation's highways. Further, these culverts can produce serious accidents when struck by an errant vehicle. Safety treatments for roadside cross-drainage culverts include extending the culvert out of the clear zone, shielding the culvert with guardrail, and making the culvert traversable. The objective of this study was to investigate the safety performance of traversable culvert safety grates recommended by the AASHTO Roadside Design Guide (RDG) when installed on slopes as steep as 3:1. LS-DYNA modeling was used to identify critical impact conditions for roadside culvert grates installed on 3:1 slopes. Two full-scale vehicle crash tests were conducted under the NCHRP Report No. 350 guidelines on a 6.1-m (20-ft) x 6.1-m (20-ft) culvert safety grate installed on a 3:1 slope. The full-scale crash tests demonstrated that the AASHTO RDG recommended safety grates provide acceptable safety performance when installed on 3:1 slopes.


Highway Safety, Roadside Appurtenances, Culvert, Culvert Grate, Slope, Transverse, Crash Test, Compliance Test, Computer Simulation

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