Development of Transition between Free-Standing and Reduced-Deflection Portable Concrete Barriers

Mojdeh Asadollahi Pajouh, Robert W. Bielenberg, John D. Reid, Jennifer D. Schmidt, Ronald K. Faller, Erik Emerson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Portable concrete barriers (PCBs) are often used in applications in which limited deflection is desired during vehicle impacts, such as bridge decks and work zones. In an earlier study, a reduced-deflection, stiffening system was configured for use with non-anchored, F-shape PCBs and was successfully crash tested under Manual for Assessing Safety Hardware (MASH) safety performance criteria. However, details and guidance for implementing this barrier system outside the length-of-need, including within transitions to other barrier systems, were not provided. The focus of this study was to develop a crashworthy transition design between the reduced-deflection, F-shape PCB system to free-standing, F-shape PCB segments using engineering analysis and LS-DYNA computer simulation. First, the continuous steel tubes in the reduced-deflection system were tapered down to the surface of the free-standing PCB segments to reduce the potential for vehicle snag. In addition, steel tube spacers were added at the base of the two joints upstream from the reduced-deflection system to increase the stiffness of adjacent free-standing PCBs. Simulations were performed to determine the critical impact points for use in a full-scale crash testing program. It was recommended that three full-scale crash tests be conducted, two tests with a 2270P pickup truck vehicle and one test with an 1100C passenger car, to evaluate the proposed design system with impacts at the recommended critical impact points.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)118-129
Number of pages12
JournalTransportation Research Record
Issue number39
StatePublished - Dec 1 2018

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering

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