Evaluation of a pilot installation of an energy absorbing bridge rail

Report No: 78-R56

Published in 1978

About the report:

A newly developed bridge rail which uses steel rings that collapse or deform to absorb the energy of an impacting vehicle was retrofitted to the concrete parapet of an existing interstate highway bridge. It was planned that the installation would be evaluated from the standpoint of design, construction, effectiveness, and maintenance requirements. However, as the rail was not struck during the study period, its in-service performance remains untested, and no maintenance has been required. Information is presented on the cost, man-hours required, and problems encountered in the design and construction of the rail.

Disclaimer Statement:The contents of this report reflect the views of the author(s), who is responsible for the facts and the accuracy of the data presented herein. The contents do not necessarily reflect the official views or policies of the Virginia Department of Transportation, the Commonwealth Transportation Board, or the Federal Highway Administration. This report does not constitute a standard, specification, or regulation. Any inclusion of manufacturer names, trade names, or trademarks is for identification purposes only and is not to be considered an endorsement.


  • Wallace T. McKeel, Jr., P.E.

Last updated: January 27, 2024

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