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Design and Evaluation of a Low-Tension Cable Guardrail End Terminal System




Rebecca Hitz, Kirk Molacek, Cody Stolle, Karla Lechtenberg, Ronald Faller, John Rohde, Dean Sicking, John Reid, Bob Bielenberg




Cable guardrail systems are utilized due to the ease of construction, low vehicle damage, low occupant risk, and low initial installation cost. However, a cable guardrail system must be terminated in an acceptable manner that does not pose a significant risk to errant motorists. A cable guardrail system, developed by the New York State Department of Transportation (NYDOT), was successfully crash tested to the recommendations provided in National Cooperative Highway Research Program (NCHRP) Report No. 350, Recommended Procedures for the Safety Performance Evaluation of Roadside Features, but the terminal incorporated a large cable anchor system and a flared end that limited the use of the cable guardrail system adjacent to slopes. In order to reduce the size of the cable anchorage system and increase the versatility of a low-tension cable guardrail system, a tangent cable terminal, similar to the design developed by the NYDOT, was developed and full-scale vehicle crash tested for use with low tension, three cable guardrail systems. Four full-scale crash tests were performed on the cable terminal system. The first test utilized a 2,000-kg (4,409-lb) pickup truck, impacting the cable terminal system at 20 degrees. The other three impacts utilized an 820-kg (1,808-lb) small car, impacting the tangent cable terminal head-on and at a 1/4 point offset. It was determined that the cable terminal system was acceptable according to the criteria provided in NCHRP Report No. 350 for the tests performed and discussed herein.


Highway Safety, Roadside Appurtenances, Longitudinal Barriers, Cable Guardrail, End Terminal, Crash Test, Compliance Test

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