Develop Enhanced Protection of Median Openings Between Parallel Bridge Structures

When divided highways span over a hazard, engineers often design two separate bridges with the ends protected by guardrail installations. However, the opening between the parallel bridge structures may result in a gap in roadside protection. The combination of the sloped median ditch and the approach guardrail can direct errant motorists between the two bridge structures and into the underlying hazard. The risk increases when the spanned hazard is another roadway with motorists traveling below the parallel bridges. Unfortunately, these median openings have resulted in fatal crashes in Texas and across the country. For example, the National Transportation Safety Board has investigated a motorcoach crash between two parallel bridge structures near Loxley, Alabama, that resulted in one fatality and 46 injuries. This median opening is a roadside safety issue that deserves further attention. Researchers will address this safety issue as follows: Develop a median opening protection system (MOPS) that prevents errant motorists from crashing between two parallel bridge structures, Identify characteristics of high-risk locations that can benefit from implementation of a MOPS, Develop a solution from currently available technologies, and Evaluate the MOPS with full-scale crash testing.


  • English


  • Status: Completed
  • Funding: $497268
  • Contract Numbers:


  • Sponsor Organizations:

    Texas Department of Transportation

    125 E. 11th Street
    Austin, TX  United States  78701-2483
  • Managing Organizations:

    Texas Department of Transportation

    125 E. 11th Street
    Austin, TX  United States  78701-2483
  • Project Managers:

    Dassi, Martin

  • Performing Organizations:

    Texas A&M Transportation Institute, College Station

    Texas A&M University System
    3135 TAMU
    College Station, TX  United States  77843-3135
  • Principal Investigators:

    Kovar, James

  • Start Date: 20190628
  • Expected Completion Date: 20220430
  • Actual Completion Date: 20220430

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01713063
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: Texas Department of Transportation
  • Contract Numbers: 0-7021
  • Files: RIP, STATEDOT
  • Created Date: Jul 30 2019 3:04PM