This report relates results of two full-scale vehicle crash tests of a five-foot-radius steel plate beam ("W" beam) end treatment developed by the Minnesota Department of Highways. Tests were conducted by the Texas Transportation Institute of the Texas A & M Research Foundation. The test vehicles, which weighed 2250 lbs. and 4500 lbs., were towed head- on into the end of the median rail system at 60 mph. The performance of the system was considered good in both tests. Tests of angle hit and off- center hits were not conducted. The test results confirmed several years experience with actual field installations used at obstacles in exit ramp gores, as end treatment of median rails at twin bridges and at median bridge piers on divided highways. Vehicle energy is absorbed by rail buckling and progressive post failure as the impacting vehicle inverts the U-shaped installation. Even if a break-through occurs, the severity of the secondary collision of the vehicle with the obstacle behind the guardrail is greatly reduced. The system uses a standard 12.5-foot section of galvanized steel plate beam rail, shop-curved to a give-foot radius. The center of the rail is mounted 21 inches above the ground, blocked out from 6" x 8" treated timber posts 6.0 feet long. Posts are spaced at 6.25 feet. No front anchorages are used. The report contains standard plates showing the usage and details of the system. /FHWA/

  • Supplemental Notes:
    • Sponsored in part by Minnesota Dept. of Highways, St. Paul. Prepared in cooperation with Texas Transportation Inst., College Station.
  • Corporate Authors:

    University of Texas, Austin

    Center for Highway Research, 200 West 21st Street
    Austin, TX  United States  78712

    Texas Transportation Institute

    Texas A&M University System, 1600 E Lamar Boulevard
    Arlington, TX  United States  76011

    Federal Highway Administration

    1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
    Washington, DC  United States  20590

    Minnesota Department of Highways

    408 Highway Building
    St Paul, MN  United States  55155
  • Authors:
    • Button, J W
    • Buth, E
    • Olson, R M
  • Publication Date: 1975-6

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00144127
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: Federal Highway Administration
  • Report/Paper Numbers: FHWA/RD-76-S0523 Final Rpt.
  • Created Date: Dec 15 1977 12:00AM