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NATIONAL NCHRP REPORT 656 COOPERATIVE HIGHWAY RESEARCH PROGRAM Criteria for Restoration of Longitudinal Barriers

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TRANSPORTATION RESEARCH BOARD 2010 EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE* OFFICERS CHAIR: Michael R. Morris, Director of Transportation, North Central Texas Council of Governments, Arlington VICE CHAIR: Neil J. Pedersen, Administrator, Maryland State Highway Administration, Baltimore EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR: Robert E. Skinner, Jr., Transportation Research Board MEMBERS J. Barry Barker, Executive Director, Transit Authority of River City, Louisville, KY Allen D. Biehler, Secretary, Pennsylvania DOT, Harrisburg Larry L. Brown, Sr., Executive Director, Mississippi DOT, Jackson Deborah H. Butler, Executive Vice President, Planning, and CIO, Norfolk Southern Corporation, Norfolk, VA William A.V. Clark, Professor, Department of Geography, University of California, Los Angeles Nicholas J. Garber, Henry L. Kinnier Professor, Department of Civil Engineering, and Director, Center for Transportation Studies, University of Virginia, Charlottesville Jeffrey W. Hamiel, Executive Director, Metropolitan Airports Commission, Minneapolis, MN Edward A. (Ned) Helme, President, Center for Clean Air Policy, Washington, DC Randell H. Iwasaki, Director, California DOT, Sacramento Adib K. Kanafani, Cahill Professor of Civil Engineering, University of California, Berkeley Susan Martinovich, Director, Nevada DOT, Carson City Debra L. Miller, Secretary, Kansas DOT, Topeka Pete K. Rahn, Director, Missouri DOT, Jefferson City Sandra Rosenbloom, Professor of Planning, University of Arizona, Tucson Tracy L. Rosser, Vice President, Corporate Traffic, Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., Mandeville, LA Steven T. Scalzo, Chief Operating Officer, Marine Resources Group, Seattle, WA Henry G. (Gerry) Schwartz, Jr., Chairman (retired), Jacobs/Sverdrup Civil, Inc., St. Louis, MO Beverly A. Scott, General Manager and Chief Executive Officer, Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority, Atlanta, GA David Seltzer, Principal, Mercator Advisors LLC, Philadelphia, PA Daniel Sperling, Professor of Civil Engineering and Environmental Science and Policy; Director, Institute of Transportation Studies; and Interim Director, Energy Efficiency Center, University of California, Davis Douglas W. Stotlar, President and CEO, Con-Way, Inc., Ann Arbor, MI C. Michael Walton, Ernest H. Cockrell Centennial Chair in Engineering, University of Texas, Austin EX OFFICIO MEMBERS Thad Allen (Adm., U.S. Coast Guard), Commandant, U.S. Coast Guard, U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Washington, DC Peter H. Appel, Administrator, Research and Innovative Technology Administration, U.S.DOT J. Randolph Babbitt, Administrator, Federal Aviation Administration, U.S.DOT Rebecca M. Brewster, President and COO, American Transportation Research Institute, Smyrna, GA George Bugliarello, President Emeritus and University Professor, Polytechnic Institute of New York University, Brooklyn; Foreign Secretary, National Academy of Engineering, Washington, DC Anne S. Ferro, Administrator, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, U.S.DOT LeRoy Gishi, Chief, Division of Transportation, Bureau of Indian Affairs, U.S. Department of the Interior, Washington, DC Edward R. Hamberger, President and CEO, Association of American Railroads, Washington, DC John C. Horsley, Executive Director, American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials, Washington, DC David T. Matsuda, Deputy Administrator, Maritime Administration, U.S.DOT Victor M. Mendez, Administrator, Federal Highway Administration, U.S.DOT William W. Millar, President, American Public Transportation Association, Washington, DC Cynthia L. Quarterman, Administrator, Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, U.S.DOT Peter M. Rogoff, Administrator, Federal Transit Administration, U.S.DOT David L. Strickland, Administrator, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, U.S.DOT Joseph C. Szabo, Administrator, Federal Railroad Administration, U.S.DOT Polly Trottenberg, Assistant Secretary for Transportation Policy, U.S.DOT Robert L. Van Antwerp (Lt. Gen., U.S. Army), Chief of Engineers and Commanding General, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Washington, DC *Membership as of February 2010.

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NATIONAL COOPERATIVE HIGHWAY RESEARCH PROGRAM NCHRP REPORT 656 Criteria for Restoration of Longitudinal Barriers Hampton C. Gabler Douglas J. Gabauer Carolyn E. Hampton VIRGINIA POLYTECHNIC INSTITUTE AND STATE UNIVERSITY Blacksburg, VA Subscriber Categories Maintenance and Preservation 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. 2010 www.TRB.org

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NATIONAL COOPERATIVE HIGHWAY NCHRP REPORT 656 RESEARCH PROGRAM Systematic, well-designed research provides the most effective Project 22-23 approach to the solution of many problems facing highway ISSN 0077-5614 administrators and engineers. Often, highway problems are of local ISBN 978-0-309-11837-8 interest and can best be studied by highway departments individually Library of Congress Control Number 2010926946 or in cooperation with their state universities and others. However, the 2010 National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved. accelerating growth of highway transportation develops increasingly complex problems of wide interest to highway authorities. These problems are best studied through a coordinated program of COPYRIGHT INFORMATION cooperative research. Authors herein are responsible for the authenticity of their materials and for obtaining In recognition of these needs, the highway administrators of the written permissions from publishers or persons who own the copyright to any previously American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials published or copyrighted material used herein. initiated in 1962 an objective national highway research program Cooperative Research Programs (CRP) grants permission to reproduce material in this employing modern scientific techniques. This program is supported on publication for classroom and not-for-profit purposes. Permission is given with the understanding that none of the material will be used to imply TRB, AASHTO, FAA, FHWA, a continuing basis by funds from participating member states of the FMCSA, FTA, or Transit Development Corporation endorsement of a particular product, Association and it receives the full cooperation and support of the method, or practice. It is expected that those reproducing the material in this document for Federal Highway Administration, United States Department of educational and not-for-profit uses will give appropriate acknowledgment of the source of any reprinted or reproduced material. For other uses of the material, request permission Transportation. from CRP. The Transportation Research Board of the National Academies was requested by the Association to administer the research program because of the Board's recognized objectivity and understanding of NOTICE modern research practices. The Board is uniquely suited for this purpose as it maintains an extensive committee structure from which The project that is the subject of this report was a part of the National Cooperative Highway Research Program, conducted by the Transportation Research Board with the approval of authorities on any highway transportation subject may be drawn; it the Governing Board of the National Research Council. possesses avenues of communications and cooperation with federal, The members of the technical panel selected to monitor this project and to review this state and local governmental agencies, universities, and industry; its report were chosen for their special competencies and with regard for appropriate balance. relationship to the National Research Council is an insurance of The report was reviewed by the technical panel and accepted for publication according to procedures established and overseen by the Transportation Research Board and approved objectivity; it maintains a full-time research correlation staff of by the Governing Board of the National Research Council. specialists in highway transportation matters to bring the findings of The opinions and conclusions expressed or implied in this report are those of the research directly to those who are in a position to use them. researchers who performed the research and are not necessarily those of the Transportation The program is developed on the basis of research needs identified Research Board, the National Research Council, or the program sponsors. by chief administrators of the highway and transportation departments The Transportation Research Board of the National Academies, the National Research and by committees of AASHTO. Each year, specific areas of research Council, and the sponsors of the National Cooperative Highway Research Program do not needs to be included in the program are proposed to the National endorse products or manufacturers. Trade or manufacturers' names appear herein solely because they are considered essential to the object of the report. 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. The needs for highway research are many, and the National Cooperative Highway Research Program can make significant contributions to the solution of highway transportation problems of mutual concern to many responsible groups. The program, however, is intended to complement rather than to substitute for or duplicate other highway research programs. Published reports of the NATIONAL COOPERATIVE HIGHWAY RESEARCH PROGRAM are available from: Transportation Research Board Business Office 500 Fifth Street, NW Washington, DC 20001 and can be ordered through the Internet at: http://www.national-academies.org/trb/bookstore Printed in the United States of America

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COOPERATIVE RESEARCH PROGRAMS CRP STAFF FOR NCHRP REPORT 656 Christopher W. Jenks, Director, Cooperative Research Programs Crawford F. Jencks, Deputy Director, Cooperative Research Programs Charles W. Niessner, Senior Program Officer Emily R. Greenwood, Senior Program Assistant Eileen P. Delaney, Director of Publications Maria Sabin Crawford, Assistant Editor NCHRP PROJECT 22-23 PANEL Field of Design--Area of Vehicle Barrier Systems John C. Durkos, Road Systems, Inc., Stow, OH (Chair) David L. Little, Iowa DOT, Mason City, IA Roger P. Bligh, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX Bernie L. Clocksin, South Dakota DOT, Pierre, SD Dan DeMaria, Pennoni Associates, King of Prussia, PA Edward J. Denehy, Transportation Maintenance Division, Albany, NY Dean A. Focke, Dublin, OH J. Michael McManus, California DOT, San Diego, CA Carl M. Ochoa, Vista Engineering Services, Inc., Plano, TX Michael P. Pillsbury, New Hampshire DOT, Concord, NH Harry W. Taylor, Jr., Taylor Consulting, Washington, DC Kenneth S. Opiela, FHWA Liaison Frank N. Lisle, TRB Liaison

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FOREWORD By Charles W. Niessner Staff Officer Transportation Research Board This report provides guidance to assist maintenance personnel in identifying levels of damage and deterioration to longitudinal barriers that require repairs to restore operational performance. Using pendulum testing, full-scale crash testing, and finite element simula- tions, the research team developed a "Field Guide for Criteria for Restoration of Longitu- dinal Barriers." The report will be of particular interest to maintenance personnel respon- sible for the maintenance and repair of damaged longitudinal barriers. Transportation agencies expend resources to ensure that all longitudinal barriers meet the safety performance guidelines to which they were constructed. Barrier systems are dam- aged by a wide variety of activities and factors, including minor crashes, snow plowing, mowing operations, and deterioration due to environmental conditions. Such damage may or may not be repaired by maintenance forces. For example, snowplows often bend W- beam guardrails and sometimes bend or break the posts. Even seemingly insignificant bar- rier damage or deterioration may compromise a barrier's safety performance. With limited maintenance budgets, state highway agencies often have large backlogs of needed safety-feature repairs. These agencies cannot afford to repair damage that does not alter a barrier's safety performance, but significant barrier damage must be repaired to pro- vide adequate protection for the motoring public. Unfortunately, in the absence of objec- tive criteria for determining when repair is not required, highway agencies may be held to the unachievable standard of maintaining all safety features in as-built condition to avoid tort liability. Therefore, there is a need for objective, quantitative criteria in the form of guidelines for assessing damage and deterioration and determining when a longitudinal barrier requires repair or can remain in service. Under NCHRP Project 22-23, "Criteria for Restoration of Longitudinal Barriers," Vir- ginia Polytechnic Institute and State University reviewed the current criteria for repair of longitudinal barriers and evaluated the crash performance of barriers with minor damage using pendulum testing, full-scale crash testing, and finite element simulations. Based on these evaluations, recommended repair guidelines were developed. The guidelines are presented in a format designed for use in the field by highway main- tenance personnel. The guidelines include the damage mode, quantitative repair thresholds, the relative priority of making the repair, and a sketch of the damage mode.

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CONTENTS ix Acknowledgments 1 Chapter 1 Introduction 1 1.1 Research Problem Statement 1 1.2 Objectives and Scope 2 1.3 Organization of Report 3 Chapter 2 Synthesis of Current Repair Criteria for Longitudinal Barriers with Crash Damage 3 2.1 Objective 3 2.2 Methodology 3 2.3 Results 10 2.4 Discussion 10 2.5 Conclusions 11 Chapter 3 Research Approach 11 3.1 Research Plan 13 3.2 Pendulum Testing Plan 16 3.3 Full-Scale Crash Test Plan 16 3.4 Finite Element Modeling Approach 20 3.5 Validation of the Finite Element Models 21 3.6 Extensions to Other Damage Modes and Barrier Types 23 Chapter 4 Evaluation of Vertical Tear Damage 23 4.1 Baseline Tests 24 4.2 Method of Introducing the Vertical Tear 25 4.3 Results 25 4.4 Recommendation 28 Chapter 5 Evaluation of Horizontal Tear Damage 28 5.1 Method of Introducing the Damage 28 5.2 Results 29 5.3 Recommendation 31 Chapter 6 Evaluation of Splice Damage 31 6.1 Results 31 6.2 Recommendation 33 Chapter 7 Evaluation of Twisted Blockout Damage 33 7.1 Results 33 7.2 Recommendation 35 Chapter 8 Evaluation of Missing Blockout Damage 35 8.1 Results 35 8.2 Recommendation

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39 Chapter 9 Evaluation of Hole in Rail 39 9.1 Results 39 9.2 Recommendation 42 Chapter 10 Evaluation of Crash-Induced Rail and Post Deflection 42 10.1 Objective 42 10.2 Evaluation Through Crash Tests 45 10.3 Evaluation Through Finite Element Modeling 49 10.4 Discussion 51 10.5 Conclusions 52 10.6 Recommendation 54 Chapter 11 Evaluation of Missing or Broken Posts 54 11.1 Approach 54 11.2 Validation of Finite Element Model 55 11.3 Results 56 11.4 Discussion 59 11.5 Recommendation 61 Chapter 12 Evaluation of Post Separation from Rail 61 12.1 Approach 61 12.2 Results 61 12.3 Discussion 65 12.4 Recommendation 66 Chapter 13 Evaluation of Rail Flattening 66 13.1 Approach 66 13.2 Results 67 13.3 Discussion 73 13.4 Recommendation 75 Chapter 14 Generic End Terminal Guidance 75 14.1 Generic End Terminal Damage Modes 76 14.2 Recommendation 78 Chapter 15 Conclusions 78 15.1 Summary of Current Practices 78 15.2 Method of Evaluation of Guidelines 79 15.3 Recommended Criteria for Restoration of Longitudinal Barriers 83 15.4 Guideline Format for Maintenance Personnel 84 Chapter 16 A Field Guide for the Restoration of Longitudinal Barriers 90 References

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ACKNOWLEDGMENTS This research project was sponsored by the National Academy of Sciences under the NCHRP Project 22-23, "Criteria for Restoration of Longitudinal Barriers." The authors wish to acknowledge the guidance of Charles W. Niessner, Program Office for NCHRP Project 22-23. We owe a special debt to the mem- bers of the NCHRP Project 22-23 Panel who were active participants throughout the research effort. The Project Panel provided the research team with many of the barrier damage photographs in this report, gave invaluable feedback on our project findings, and helped us develop and fine-tune our strategy for making this a project which could be readily implemented by the highway maintenance community. We thank Ken Opiela and the FHWA for making the FOIL facility available for the pendulum testing at no cost to the project. We gratefully acknowledge Trinity Industries, Inc., and Gregory Industries, Inc., for contributing the guardrail materials for the pendulum and full-scale crash tests at no cost. We also wish to thank Dhafer Marzougui, Pradeep K. Mohan, Chris Story, Scott Mosser, and Eduardo Arispe, the contract staff of the National Crash Analysis Center (NCAC) from George Washington University, for their assistance in the setup and execution of the tests. We wish to thank David Little and the Iowa DOT for hosting a workshop in Mason City, IA, in May 2009 on the proposed guidelines. The workshop allowed the research team to obtain invaluable feedback from actual maintenance practitioners which we have used to fine-tune the guidelines for improved read- ability and practicality. We wish to acknowledge Virginia Tech graduate students Craig Thor, Greg Webster, and Kristofer Kusano for assisting with the pendulum experiments; Qian Wang, graduate student, for his contribution to the weak-post analysis; and Weijia Wu, post-doctoral fellow, for his development of the preliminary finite element models for this project. The majority of the finite element analysis in this project was conducted by Carolyn Hampton and reported in her M.S. thesis, "Limits of Permissible Damage in Strong-Post W-Beam Guardrail." The authors wish to thank Roger Bligh for providing TTI crash test data and Karla Polivka-Lechtenberg for providing the test reports and data for the UNL long-span crash tests. We also gratefully acknowledge LSTC and Altair Engineering for providing the academic software licenses used to develop the models.