Concrete Safety Barrier Design

by Edwin C. Lokken, (M.ASCE), Principal Highway Engineer; Portland Cement Associate, Skokie, IL,

Serial Information: Transportation Engineering Journal of ASCE, 1974, Vol. 100, Issue 1, Pg. 151-168

Document Type: Journal Paper


The concrete safety barrier known as the Safety Shape is proving to be a major factor in preventing the highly dangerous, often fatal cross-median type highway accident. The design is also proving effective in reducing damage to both vehicle and barrier in the more numerous lesser-angle impact. More than 1,400 miles (2,254 km) of the Safety Shape barrier are now built or planned for the nation's highways. Most of these installations have been made within the past 5 yr. The large number of tire scrub marks on barrier sections in use, without accompanying paint marks or accident reports to authorities, indicates that these involvements are being experienced without major damage to the vehicle, to its passengers, or to the barrier itself. Basic design features are described, including jointing requirements, reinforcement, and base restraints. The paper illustrates the excellent practical applications that are being made by construction agencies in adapting the shape to secondary uses in conjunction with other structures in the highway system.

Subject Headings: Concrete | Safety | Highway barriers | Infrastructure construction | Structural safety | Occupational safety | Vehicle impacts | Vehicle-pavement interaction

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