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NATIONAL NCHRP REPORT 537 COOPERATIVE HIGHWAY RESEARCH PROGRAM Recommended Guidelines for Curb and CurbBarrier Installations

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TRANSPORTATION RESEARCH BOARD EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE 2005 (Membership as of February 2005) OFFICERS Chair: Joseph H. Boardman, Commissioner, New York State DOT Vice Chair: Michael D. Meyer, Professor, School of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology Executive Director: Robert E. Skinner, Jr., Transportation Research Board MEMBERS MICHAEL W. BEHRENS, Executive Director, Texas DOT LARRY L. BROWN, SR., Executive Director, Mississippi DOT DEBORAH H. BUTLER, Vice President, Customer Service, Norfolk Southern Corporation and Subsidiaries, Atlanta, GA ANNE P. CANBY, President, Surface Transportation Policy Project, Washington, DC JOHN L. CRAIG, Director, Nebraska Department of Roads DOUGLAS G. DUNCAN, President and CEO, FedEx Freight, Memphis, TN NICHOLAS J. GARBER, Professor of Civil Engineering, University of Virginia, Charlottesville ANGELA GITTENS, Consultant, Miami, FL GENEVIEVE GIULIANO, Director, Metrans Transportation Center, and Professor, School of Policy, Planning, and Development, USC, Los Angeles BERNARD S. GROSECLOSE, JR., President and CEO, South Carolina State Ports Authority SUSAN HANSON, Landry University Professor of Geography, Graduate School of Geography, Clark University JAMES R. HERTWIG, President, CSX Intermodal, Jacksonville, FL GLORIA J. JEFF, Director, Michigan DOT ADIB K. KANAFANI, Cahill Professor of Civil Engineering, University of California, Berkeley HERBERT S. LEVINSON, Principal, Herbert S. Levinson Transportation Consultant, New Haven, CT SUE MCNEIL, Director and Professor, Urban Transportation Center, University of Illinois, Chicago MICHAEL MORRIS, Director of Transportation, North Central Texas Council of Governments CAROL A. MURRAY, Commissioner, New Hampshire DOT JOHN E. NJORD, Executive Director, Utah DOT PHILIP A. SHUCET, Commissioner, Virginia DOT MICHAEL S. TOWNES, President and CEO, Hampton Roads Transit, Hampton, VA C. MICHAEL WALTON, Ernest H. Cockrell Centennial Chair in Engineering, University of Texas, Austin LINDA S. WATSON, Executive Director, LYNX--Central Florida Regional Transportation Authority MARION C. BLAKEY, Federal Aviation Administrator, U.S.DOT (ex officio) SAMUEL G. BONASSO, Acting Administrator, Research and Special Programs Administration, U.S.DOT (ex officio) REBECCA M. BREWSTER, President and COO, American Transportation Research Institute, Smyrna, GA (ex officio) GEORGE BUGLIARELLO, Chancellor, Polytechnic University, and Foreign Secretary, National Academy of Engineering (ex officio) THOMAS H. COLLINS (Adm., U.S. Coast Guard), Commandant, U.S. Coast Guard (ex officio) JENNIFER L. DORN, Federal Transit Administrator, U.S.DOT (ex officio) JAMES J. EBERHARDT, Chief Scientist, Office of FreedomCAR and Vehicle Technologies, U.S. Department of Energy (ex officio) EDWARD R. HAMBERGER, President and CEO, Association of American Railroads (ex officio) JOHN C. HORSLEY, Executive Director, American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (ex officio) ROBERT D. JAMISON, Acting Administrator, Federal Railroad Administration, U.S.DOT (ex officio) EDWARD JOHNSON, Director, Applied Science Directorate, National Aeronautics and Space Administration (ex officio) RICK KOWALEWSKI, Deputy Director, Bureau of Transportation Statistics, U.S.DOT (ex officio) WILLIAM W. MILLAR, President, American Public Transportation Association (ex officio) MARY E. PETERS, Federal Highway Administrator, U.S.DOT (ex officio) SUZANNE RUDZINSKI, Director, Transportation and Regional Programs, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (ex officio) JEFFREY W. RUNGE, National Highway Traffic Safety Administrator, U.S.DOT (ex officio) ANNETTE M. SANDBERG, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administrator, U.S.DOT (ex officio) WILLIAM G. SCHUBERT, Maritime Administrator, U.S.DOT (ex officio) JEFFREY N. SHANE, Under Secretary for Policy, U.S.DOT (ex officio) CARL A. STROCK (Maj. Gen., U.S. Army), Chief of Engineers and Commanding General, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (ex officio) NATIONAL COOPERATIVE HIGHWAY RESEARCH PROGRAM Transportation Research Board Executive Committee Subcommittee for NCHRP JOSEPH H. BOARDMAN, New York State DOT (Chair) MARY E. PETERS, Federal Highway Administration JOHN C. HORSLEY, American Association of State Highway ROBERT E. SKINNER, JR., Transportation Research Board and Transportation Officials MICHAEL S. TOWNES, Hampton Roads Transit, Hampton, VA MICHAEL D. MEYER, Georgia Institute of Technology C. MICHAEL WALTON, University of Texas, Austin

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NATIONAL COOPERATIVE HIGHWAY RESEARCH PROGRAM NCHRP REPORT 537 Recommended Guidelines for Curb and CurbBarrier Installations C.A. PLAXICO, M.H. RAY, J.A. WEIR, F. ORENGO, AND P. TISO Worcester Polytechnic Institute Worcester, MA AND H. MCGEE, F. COUNCIL, AND K. ECCLES Bellomo-McGee, Inc. Vienna, VA S UBJECT A REAS Highway and Facility Design Safety and Human Performance Research Sponsored by the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials in Cooperation with the Federal Highway Administration TRANSPORTATION RESEARCH BOARD WASHINGTON, D.C. 2005 www.TRB.org

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NATIONAL COOPERATIVE HIGHWAY RESEARCH NCHRP REPORT 537 PROGRAM Systematic, well-designed research provides the most effective Project C22-17 approach to the solution of many problems facing highway administrators and engineers. Often, highway problems are of local ISSN 0077-5614 interest and can best be studied by highway departments ISBN 0-309-08820-8 individually or in cooperation with their state universities and Library of Congress Control Number 2005920632 others. However, the accelerating growth of highway transportation develops increasingly complex problems of wide interest to 2005 Transportation Research Board highway authorities. These problems are best studied through a coordinated program of cooperative research. Price $22.00 In recognition of these needs, the highway administrators of the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials initiated in 1962 an objective national highway research program employing modern scientific techniques. This program is supported on a continuing basis by funds from participating member states of the Association and it receives the full cooperation and support of the Federal Highway Administration, United States NOTICE Department of Transportation. The project that is the subject of this report was a part of the National Cooperative The Transportation Research Board of the National Academies Highway Research Program conducted by the Transportation Research Board with the was requested by the Association to administer the research approval of the Governing Board of the National Research Council. Such approval program because of the Board's recognized objectivity and reflects the Governing Board's judgment that the program concerned is of national understanding of modern research practices. The Board is uniquely importance and appropriate with respect to both the purposes and resources of the suited for this purpose as it maintains an extensive committee National Research Council. structure from which authorities on any highway transportation The members of the technical committee selected to monitor this project and to review subject may be drawn; it possesses avenues of communications and this report were chosen for recognized scholarly competence and with due cooperation with federal, state and local governmental agencies, consideration for the balance of disciplines appropriate to the project. The opinions and universities, and industry; its relationship to the National Research conclusions expressed or implied are those of the research agency that performed the Council is an insurance of objectivity; it maintains a full-time research, and, while they have been accepted as appropriate by the technical committee, research correlation staff of specialists in highway transportation they are not necessarily those of the Transportation Research Board, the National matters to bring the findings of research directly to those who are in Research Council, the American Association of State Highway and Transportation a position to use them. Officials, or the Federal Highway Administration, U.S. Department of Transportation. The program is developed on the basis of research needs Each report is reviewed and accepted for publication by the technical committee identified by chief administrators of the highway and transportation according to procedures established and monitored by the Transportation Research departments and by committees of AASHTO. Each year, specific Board Executive Committee and the Governing Board of the National Research areas of research needs to be included in the program are proposed Council. to the National Research Council and the Board by the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials. Research projects to fulfill these needs are defined by the Board, and qualified research agencies are selected from those that have submitted proposals. Administration and surveillance of research contracts are the responsibilities of the National Research Council and the Transportation Research Board. Published reports of the The needs for highway research are many, and the National NATIONAL COOPERATIVE HIGHWAY RESEARCH PROGRAM Cooperative Highway Research Program can make significant contributions to the solution of highway transportation problems of are available from: mutual concern to many responsible groups. The program, however, is intended to complement rather than to substitute for or Transportation Research Board duplicate other highway research programs. Business Office 500 Fifth Street, NW Washington, DC 20001 and can be ordered through the Internet at: Note: The Transportation Research Board of the National Academies, the National Research Council, the Federal Highway Administration, the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials, and the individual http://www.national-academies.org/trb/bookstore states participating in the National Cooperative Highway Research Program do not endorse products or manufacturers. Trade or manufacturers' names appear herein solely because they are considered essential to the object of this report. Printed in the United States of America

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The National Academy of Sciences is a private, nonprofit, self-perpetuating society of distinguished schol- ars engaged in scientific and engineering research, dedicated to the furtherance of science and technology and to their use for the general welfare. On the authority of the charter granted to it by the Congress in 1863, the Academy has a mandate that requires it to advise the federal government on scientific and techni- cal matters. Dr. Ralph J. Cicerone is president of the National Academy of Sciences. The National Academy of Engineering was established in 1964, under the charter of the National Acad- emy of Sciences, as a parallel organization of outstanding engineers. It is autonomous in its administration and in the selection of its members, sharing with the National Academy of Sciences the responsibility for advising the federal government. The National Academy of Engineering also sponsors engineering programs aimed at meeting national needs, encourages education and research, and recognizes the superior achieve- ments of engineers. Dr. William A. Wulf is president of the National Academy of Engineering. The Institute of Medicine was established in 1970 by the National Academy of Sciences to secure the services of eminent members of appropriate professions in the examination of policy matters pertaining to the health of the public. The Institute acts under the responsibility given to the National Academy of Sciences by its congressional charter to be an adviser to the federal government and, on its own initiative, to identify issues of medical care, research, and education. Dr. Harvey V. Fineberg is president of the Institute of Medicine. The National Research Council was organized by the National Academy of Sciences in 1916 to associate the broad community of science and technology with the Academy's purposes of furthering knowledge and advising the federal government. Functioning in accordance with general policies determined by the Acad- emy, the Council has become the principal operating agency of both the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering in providing services to the government, the public, and the scientific and engineering communities. The Council is administered jointly by both the Academies and the Institute of Medicine. Dr. Ralph J. Cicerone and Dr. William A. Wulf are chair and vice chair, respectively, of the National Research Council. The Transportation Research Board is a division of the National Research Council, which serves the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering. The Board's mission is to promote innovation and progress in transportation through research. In an objective and interdisciplinary setting, the Board facilitates the sharing of information on transportation practice and policy by researchers and practitioners; stimulates research and offers research management services that promote technical excellence; provides expert advice on transportation policy and programs; and disseminates research results broadly and encourages their implementation. The Board's varied activities annually engage more than 5,000 engineers, scientists, and other transportation researchers and practitioners from the public and private sectors and academia, all of whom contribute their expertise in the public interest. The program is supported by state transportation departments, federal agencies including the component administrations of the U.S. Department of Transportation, and other organizations and individuals interested in the development of transportation. www.TRB.org www.national-academies.org

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COOPERATIVE RESEARCH PROGRAMS STAFF FOR NCHRP REPORT 537 ROBERT J. REILLY, Director, Cooperative Research Programs CRAWFORD F. JENCKS, Manager, NCHRP CHARLES W. NIESSNER, Senior Program Officer EILEEN P. DELANEY, Director of Publications NATALIE BARNES, Associate Editor HILARY FREER, Editor NCHRP PROJECT C22-17 PANEL Field of Design--Area of Vehicle Barrier Systems DAVID L. LITTLE, Iowa DOT (Chair) ROBERT F. BAKER, City College of New York BRIAN L. BOWMAN, Auburn University CAROL A. HENNESSY, AASHTO Monitor SAMUEL A. JOHNSTON, Oregon DOT TIMOTHY R. NEUMAN, CH2M Hill, Chicago, IL RICHARD R. PETER, Elk Grove, CA HARRY W. TAYLOR, JR., FHWA CHARLES F. MCDEVITT, FHWA Liaison Representative STEPHEN F. MAHER, TRB Liaison Representative AUTHOR ACKNOWLEDGMENTS The research reported herein was performed under NCHRP Proj- Engineer at WPI; and Paolo Tiso and Fabio Orengo, former gradu- ect 22-17 by Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI), Bellomo-McGee, ate students at WPI; Hugh McGee, President of BMI; and Forrest Inc. (BMI), and E-TECH Testing Services. WPI was the contractor Council and Kimberly Eccles, BMI. for this study, and BMI and E-TECH were subcontractors. Malcolm The work at BMI was done under the supervision of Hugh McGee H. Ray, Assistant Professor of Civil Engineering, WPI, was the and Forrest Council with the assistance of Christopher Daily, principal investigator. The other authors of this report are Chuck A. Kimberly Eccles, and Mona Killian, Research Engineers. The Plaxico, former Research Engineer at WPI, now Senior Research crash testing at E-TECH was done under the supervision of Scientist at Battelle Memorial Institute; Jennifer A. Weir, Research John F. LaTurner.

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This report presents the findings of a research project to develop guidelines for the FOREWORD use of curbs and curbguardrail combinations on high-speed roadways. The researchers By Charles W. Niessner make recommendations concerning the location of curbs with respect to the guardrail Staff Officer for various operating speeds. The report will be of particular interest to design engineers Transportation Research with responsibility for roadway design. Board AASHTO highway design policy discourages the use of curbs on high-speed road- ways because of their potential to cause drivers to lose control in a crash. Curbs can also cause a laterally skidding vehicle to roll over upon striking the curb, a situation referred to as tripping. In some cases, a barrier is placed in combination with a curb, and inade- quate design can result in vehicles vaulting or underriding the barrier. Although the use of curbs is discouraged on high-speed roadways, they are often required because of restricted right-of-way, drainage considerations, access control, and other curb functions. Highway agencies have typically tried to reduce problems caused by curbs by off-setting the curb from the travel way as far as possible and using differ- ent curb shapes. Off-setting the curb is not always possible because of the difficulty with right-of-way acquisition and, in some cases, the risk of detracting from features of his- toric parkways. Under NCHRP Project 22-17, "Recommended Guidelines for Curbs and Curb Barrier Combinations," Worcester Polytechnic Institute undertook research to develop design guidelines for using curbs and curbbarrier combinations on roadways with oper- ating speeds greater than 60km/h (40 mph). The research team conducted an in-depth review of published literature to identify information pertinent to the design, safety, and function of curbs and curbbarrier com- binations. Computer simulation methods were used in a parametric investigation involv- ing vehicle impact with curbs and curbbarrier combinations. The computer simulations were used to determine which type of curbs are safe to use on higher-speed roadways and the proper placement of the barrier with respect to the curb. Full-scale crash tests were also conducted to validate the computer simulations. The results of the study were then synthesized and guidelines for the use of curbs and curbbarrier systems were developed. The researchers developed recommendations for combinations of curb and strong- post guardrail, curb height, and lateral offset between the curb and guardrail for operat- ing speeds greater than 60 km/hr (40 mph).

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CONTENTS 1 CHAPTER 1 Introduction Background, 1 Project Objectives, 4 5 CHAPTER 2 Literature Review Introduction, 5 Analysis Methods Applied in the Study of Curb Safety, 5 Effect of Curbs on Vehicle Stability, 7 Effect of Curbs Installed in Conjunction with Guardrails, 12 Effects of Curb Trip on Vehicle Stability, 15 Synthesis of Literature Review, 20 Summary, 23 25 CHAPTER 3 Summary of State Surveys on Curbs and CurbBarrier Combinations Introduction, 25 Types of Curbs Used by the States, 25 Typical Function of Curbs, 26 Alternatives to Using Curbs, 26 Previous Curb Safety Problems Identified by the Survey, 28 CurbBarrier Combinations, 28 Previous Curb-Related Research Conducted by the States, 28 Voids for Establishing Guidelines, 28 Additional Information, 29 Summary, 30 31 CHAPTER 4 Research Approach Introduction, 31 Analyses of Curb-Related Safety Issues Using Crash and Inventory Data, 31 Computer Simulation Methods, 34 Parametric Analyses Using Computer Simulations, 38 Full-Scale Crash Testing, 42 Summary, 44 46 CHAPTER 5 Analyses and Results Introduction, 46 Prior Studies, 46 Crash and Inventory Data Analyses, 46 Vehicle Curb Traversal Simulations and Tests, 57 CurbGuardrail Simulations and Tests, 62 Summary, 84 85 CHAPTER 6 Design Guidelines for the Use of Curbs with Guardrails Development and Validation of Design Guidelines, 85 Design Guidelines, 85 Validation of Design Guidelines, 87 Tripping Risk Index, 87 92 CHAPTER 7 Summary and Conclusions Introduction, 92 Summary of Previous Research Studies, 92 Summary of Current Research, 92 Conclusions, 93 95 REFERENCES A-1 APPENDICES