Evaluation of MASH 2016 Soil Specifications and Procedures

The objective of this research is to (1) Review the soil specifications and evaluation procedures in MASH 2016; (2) Review the types and strengths of soils as well as the evaluation procedures used at various crash testing labs conducting MASH testing; (3) Evaluate the need to tighten the MASH soil specifications including the inclusion of a maximum soil strength; and (4) Identify any deficiencies, limitations, ambiguity, and/or inadvertent effects of the current soil specifications; Provide recommendations for the revision of the MASH 2016 soil specifications and evaluation procedures. MASH testing guidelines were intended to provide consistent and reproducible tests. However, as observed in the in the recent Inter-lab Comparison between the crash testing laboratories, soil strengths can greatly differ between labs and between tests. This can and likely has resulted in inconsistent crash test results, which include (a) Variations to the system deflection and working width of a barrier system due to drastically different soil strengths; (b) Failed crash tests on an otherwise crashworthy system due to artificially high soil strengths; and (c) Increased costs to roadway agencies and barrier manufactures who are trying to evaluate their barriers in unintentionally inconsistent soil conditions. The completion of this research project would result in the formulation of recommended revisions to the soil specifications and evaluation procedures in MASH 2016. These revisions are intended to (a) Clarify areas the MASH 2016 soil specifications that may be ambiguous or unspecified; (b) Improve and/or expand upon the soil strength requirements to provide more consistency in testing procedures and soil strengths between crash test labs; and (c) Simplify and streamline the soil evaluation procedure to reduce time and costs spent on soil evaluations.


  • English


  • Status: Proposed
  • Funding: $250000
  • Contract Numbers:

    Project 22-51

  • 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:

    McKenney, Christopher

  • Start Date: 20210209
  • Expected Completion Date: 0
  • Actual Completion Date: 0

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01739669
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: Transportation Research Board
  • Contract Numbers: Project 22-51
  • Files: TRB, RiP
  • Created Date: May 18 2020 3:05PM