InTrans / Aug 14, 2018

Crashworthy railing for timber bridges

Bridge railing systems in the United States have historically beers designed based on static load criteria given in the American Association of State Highway and Transportation 0fficials (AASHTO) Standard Specifications for Highway Bridges. In the past decade, full-scale vehicle crash testing has been recognized as a more appropriate and reliable method of evaluating bridge railing acceptability. In 1993, the National Cooperative Highway Research Program published Report 350, Recommended Procedures for the Saftey Performance Evaluation of Highway Features, which provides new criteria for
evaluating longitudinal barriers. Based on these specifications, a cooperative research program is continuing between the USDA Forest Service, Forest Products Laboratory, the Midwest Roadside Saftety Facility of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln; and the Federal Highway Administration to develop and crash test bridge railings for wood bridge decks. This paper describes research that resulted in the successful development and testing of several bridge railings for longitudinal and transverse wood decks in accordance with NCHRP Report 350 requirements.