Proposed AASHTO Guidelines for Implementation of MASH for Sign Supports, Breakaway Poles, and Work Zone Traffic Control Devices

To encourage state departments of transportation (DOTs) and hardware developers to advance hardware designs, the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) collaborated on the development of the AASHTO Manual for Assessing Safety Hardware (MASH) implementation policy that includes sunset dates for various roadside hardware categories. The joint FHWA/AASHTO implementation plan for MASH devices ( requires highway agencies to evaluate many different designs of permanent sign supports, breakaway poles, and work zone traffic control devices (herein called “Systems”). The FHWA/AASHTO implementation plan requires Systems installed on national highway systems after December 31, 2019 to comply with MASH 2016. Highway agencies and manufacturers have been left in a situation where a significant number of Systems still need to be evaluated to comply with MASH. For each System, up to three full-scale crash tests need to be conducted on each variation, and these crash tests can be expensive. There are thousands of variations of Systems that the state DOTs utilize. The costs of these tests will fall directly on transportation agencies and the public. Because it is not feasible to test all possible combinations to MASH, there is a need to provide guidelines to aid state DOTs in selecting the appropriate testing protocols to evaluate the crashworthiness of Systems. The objective of this research is to develop guidelines for implementation of, and propose modification, to the AASHTO MASH for sign supports, breakaway poles, and work zone traffic control devices, including examples to demonstrate the application of the proposed guidelines. At the minimum, the research results shall include developing testing protocols that are validated by crash simulations and testing for families of related devices within the following three groups: (1) sign supports, (2) breakaway poles, and (3) work zone traffic control devices. For the purposes of this research, a family of related devices is a set of similar devices within one of the three groups that shares the same critical characteristics controlling the crashworthiness.


  • English


  • Status: Active
  • Funding: $500000
  • Contract Numbers:

    Project 22-43

  • 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:

    University of Nebraska, Lincoln

    1400 R Street
    Lincoln, NE  United States  68588
  • Principal Investigators:

    Pajouh, Mojdeh

  • Start Date: 20200813
  • Expected Completion Date: 20230513
  • Actual Completion Date: 0

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01707553
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: Transportation Research Board
  • Contract Numbers: Project 22-43
  • Files: TRB, RIP
  • Created Date: Jun 5 2019 1:29PM