Performance of Retrofit Highway Barriers with Mechanical Anchors


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Title: Performance of Retrofit Highway Barriers with Mechanical Anchors

Author(s): G. Mitchell, M. T. Strahota, V. Gokani, R. Picon, S. Yang, R. E. Klingner, and E. B. Williamson

Publication: Structural Journal

Volume: 107

Issue: 4

Appears on pages(s): 381-389

Keywords: anchors; barriers; crash simulation; finite elements; postinstalled; retrofit

Date: 7/1/2010

The Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT), like all other state highway departments, uses vehicular barriers at the edges of highway bridge decks to ensure the safety of the motoring public. A recent TxDOT research study conducted at the University of Texas at Austin was intended to develop designs for retrofit barriers connected to bridge decks using post-installed mechanical anchors, which could be used to replace highway barriers damaged by vehicular collisions. In this research study, two retrofit barrier designs were developed: one an intermittent barrier with through anchors, and the other a continuous barrier with undercut anchors. The undercut-anchor design involved groups of inclined anchors, whose capacity was governed by concrete breakout, and for which current design provisions were not directly applicable. The barriers were tested under impact loading using a specially designed pendulum that was built in the Ferguson Structural Engineering Laboratory of the University of Texas at Austin. Research results show that the current provisions of ACI 318-05, Appendix D, can safely be used to design retrofit mechanical anchors for such barriers.