Development of the Midwest Guardrail System for Standard and Reduced Post Spacing and in Combination with Curbs: Part 1

Significant changes in the vehicle fleet over the past 10 years have led to changes in performance criteria for roadside safety hardware. In particular, replacement of the large sedan with a 3/4-ton pickup has caused reevaluation of much of the existing roadside safety hardware. One of the key questions in this reevaluation has been the performance of the W-beam guardrail. Several recent tests of W-beam guardrails have shown that successful capture and redirection of the 3/4-ton pickup vehicle is very sensitive to vehicle size, soil conditions, and post types. Unfortunately, these requirements do not appear to be satisfied by either standard W-beam rail systems nor the more costly 3-beam systems. In recognition of the potential for improving guardrail performance for high-center-of-gravity vehicles and the need to reestablish reasonable barrier height tolerances, the aims of this research project were to: examine the performance of W-beam guardrails and make necessary design changes; develop a guardrail-to-curb barrier combination that provides increased hydraulic capacity and placement farther in front of the rail face to reduce frequency of snow plow damage to guardrails; and 3) evaluate guardrail stiffening and determine appropriate guardrail placement guidelines for shielding rigid-hazards using full-, half-, and quarter-post spacing designs.

  • Availability:
  • Authors:
    • Polivka, Karla A
    • Faller, Ronald K
    • Sicking, Dean L
    • Reid, John D
    • Rohde, John R
    • Holloway, James C
    • Kuipers, Beau Daniel
    • Bielenberg, Bob W
  • Publication Date: 2008-3


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Print
  • Features: Figures; Photos; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: pp 49-61, 64
  • Serial:

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01102981
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS, ATRI
  • Created Date: Jun 24 2008 7:41AM