Design of Roadside Barrier Systems Placed on MSE Retaining Walls

It is estimated that 10 million square feet of mechanically stabilized earth (MSE) retaining wall is constructed annually in the United States. Most MSE retaining walls used in highway fill applications are constructed with a roadside barrier system consisting of a traffic barrier placed on a continuous footing (structural slab). The footing is intended to reduce the influence of barrier impact loads on the retaining wall system by distributing the load over a wide area. The proper design of the roadside barrier, the structural slab, and the MSE wall system requires a good understanding of how barrier impact loads are transferred through the structural slab and into the wall system. The move from the AASHTO Standard Specifications for Highway Bridges (ASD) to the AASHTO LRFD Bridge Design Specifications has made evident the need for a rational, reliable procedure for designing roadside barrier systems placed on MSE retaining walls. Current procedures and design details for roadside barriers placed on retaining walls vary widely among state highway agencies. Most designs currently used are overly conservative because of inadequate understanding of how barrier impact loads are distributed through the barrier and transferred to the structural slab and the wall system. There is a need to develop procedures for use by state highway agencies in designing roadside barrier systems placed on MSE retaining walls. The objective of this research is to develop, in a format suitable for adoption by AASHTO, procedures for designing roadside barrier systems placed on mechanically stabilized earth retaining structures.


  • English


  • Status: Completed
  • Contract Numbers:

    Project 22-20

  • Sponsor Organizations:

    Federal Highway Administration

    1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
    Washington, DC  USA  20590

    American Association of State Highway & Transportation Officials

    444 North Capitol Street, NW, Suite 225
    Washington, DC    20001

    National Cooperative Highway Research Program

    Transportation Research Board
    500 Fifth Street, NW
    Washington, DC  USA  20001
  • Project Managers:

    Niessner, Charles

  • Performing Organizations:

    Texas A&M Research Foundation, College Station

    Texas A&M University
    College Station, TX  USA  77843
  • Principal Investigators:

    Briaud, Jean-Louis

  • Start Date: 20040701
  • Actual Completion Date: 20090731
  • Source Data: RiP Project 9013

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01463112
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: National Cooperative Highway Research Program
  • Contract Numbers: Project 22-20
  • Files: RiP, USDOT
  • Created Date: Jan 3 2013 2:17PM