Cost-Efficient, TL-2 Bridge Rail for Low Volume Roads

In 2016, the Nebraska State Legislature passed bill LB960 to adopt the Transportation Innovation Act. A portion of this act created a voluntary county bridge match assistance program intended to aid Nebraska counties in replacing deteriorated bridges. This program was targeted for the numerous bridges located on rural, low-volume roadways that need immediate attention. With the replacement of these bridges, new bridge rails and approach guardrail systems will also be necessary to provide safety to the motoring public. Due to the large number of deficient bridges slated for replacement, these new bridges need to be constructed in a timely and cost-efficient manner. As such, the associated bridge railings should be optimized to minimize costs while satisfying current safety standards. The bridge rail should be mounted to the side of the bridge deck in order to maximize the traversable width of the bridge, and the railing should prevent damage to deck. For convenience, one bridge rail design is desired to treat all of the future installation sites for these rural bridges. Due to the low traffic volume associated with these bridges (50 – 500 average daily traffic [ADT]), a bridge railing that satisfies the Test Level 2 (TL-2) performance criteria of the Manual for Assessing Safety Hardware (MASH) is warrant rather than using more expensive TL-3 systems typically used on higher-speed, higher-volume roadways. Thus, a new TL-2 bridge rail is desired to provide an economical treatment for rural, low volume roads. The research objectives for this project include the development and full-scale crash testing of a TL-2 bridge railing for use on rural, low-volume roadways. The bridge railing shall utilize side-mounted, weak steel posts in order to limit encroachment of the system over the bridge deck. Additionally, the bridge railing shall limit damage to the bridge deck during impact events. A detailed analysis of the required length of need will be performed to identify the minimum length of the guardrail adjacent to the bridge and limit the total installation costs. All crash testing will be conducted and reported according to the TL-2 safety requirements found in MASH.


    • English


    • Status: Active
    • Contract Numbers:

      SPR-P1(17) M068

    • Sponsor Organizations:

      Nebraska Department of Roads

      1500 Highway 2
      Lincoln, Nebraska  United States  68509-4759
    • Performing Organizations:

      University of Nebraska, Lincoln

      Midwest Roadside Safety Facility
      2200 Vine Street, Whittier Building
      Lincoln, NE  United States  68583-0853
    • Principal Investigators:

      Rosenbaugh, Scott

      Faller, Ronald

      Bielenberg, Robert

    • Start Date: 20170209
    • Expected Completion Date: 20180831
    • Actual Completion Date: 0

    Subject/Index Terms

    Filing Info

    • Accession Number: 01631464
    • Record Type: Research project
    • Source Agency: Nebraska Department of Roads
    • Contract Numbers: SPR-P1(17) M068
    • Files: RiP, STATEDOT
    • Created Date: Mar 30 2017 3:38PM