Evaluation of the International Barrier Corporation's Mark VII Median Barrier

Report No: 93-R1

Published in 1992

About the report:

The International Barrier Corporation's (IBC) Mark VII median barrier consists of a steel frame (10 ft long, 42 in high, and 44 in wide at its widest point) filled with sand and covered with a top plate. The barrier has the ability to absorb some of the impact energy of a collision, which should reduce the severity of the impact. An experimental section of the IBC median barrier (1.63 miles) was installed on Route 29 in Amherst County, Virginia, just north of the city of Lynchburg. The objective of this research was to evaluate the IBC median barrier from three perspectives: (1) lateral placement of vehicles traveling in the lane closest to the barrier, (2) reported accidents and impacts with the barrier, and (3) costs. To the extent possible, the performance of the IBC median barrier was compared with that of a nearby control section of concrete median barrier. Results of the study showed that vehicles tend to travel a little farther from the IBC median barrier than from the concrete median barrier. Because only a limited number of reported accidents and impacts occurred, no conclusions were drawn concerning the safety performance of the IBC median barrier. No maintenance was performed on the barrier during the 2 1/2-year study period. The installation cost of the IBC median barrier was more than twice that of the concrete median barrier. It was recommended that VDOT continue monitoring the IBC median barrier section to make further assessments of the barrier.

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.

Last updated: December 24, 2023

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