Roadmap for the Transformation to Computer Simulation-Based Assessment of Bridge Railings

The American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) Manual for Assessing Safety Hardware (MASH) 2nd edition is the latest in a series of documents that provide guidance on testing and evaluating roadside safety features. Implementing MASH has been a challenging mission for departments of transportation (DOTs). Implementing uniform guidelines has cost the nation tens of millions of dollars. DOTs and other transportation agencies need a roadmap to accommodate future transformations, such as the introduction of electrical vehicles and changes in MASH requirements, in a timely and more cost-effective manner. One of the most expensive and time-consuming pieces of the current process is building full-scale test sections and performing the actual crash tests. Often, multiple crash tests are required for a particular solution. Computer simulations are currently used in association with full-scale crash testing. There is a need for a safe and cost-effective tool for compliance assessment of bridge rails and bridge rail transitions The objectives of this research are to (1) evaluate the capability of existing numerical simulations tools in capturing the performance of bridge rails and rail transition systems and (2) develop a roadmap to implement using computer simulations for the compliance assessment of bridge rails and rail transition systems. At a minimum, the roadmap must address, discuss, or identify (1) the current state-of-the-art practices in computer crash-testing simulations and the knowledge gaps, (2) quality assurance (QA)/quality control (QC) procedures for validating the computer simulation models, (3) the limitations of crash simulations, (4) the types and magnitudes of changes that trigger model updates, (5) the concept of using notional vehicles, and (6) research that will need to be pursued to implement the roadmap.  


  • English


  • Status: Active
  • Funding: $150000
  • Contract Numbers:


  • Sponsor Organizations:

    National Cooperative Highway Research Program

    Transportation Research Board
    500 Fifth Street, NW
    Washington, DC  United States  20001

    American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO)

    444 North Capitol Street, NW
    Washington, DC  United States  20001

    Federal Highway Administration

    1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
    Washington, DC  United States  20590
  • Project Managers:

    Abu-Hawash, Ahmad

  • Performing Organizations:

    Roadsafe LLC

  • Principal Investigators:

    Plaxico, Chuck

  • Start Date: 20240306
  • Expected Completion Date: 20250705
  • Actual Completion Date: 0

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01911690
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: Transportation Research Board
  • Contract Numbers: 20-123(16)A
  • Files: TRB, RIP
  • Created Date: Mar 12 2024 10:10AM