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MGS long span

State CT
Description Text The use of the subject long span for lengths less than 25’….. (omit one or two posts instead of three). Do I still need to have the 62.5’ of tangent length prior to the CRT Posts? If no, what length would you recommend? Thanks for your time.
  • Guardrail
Other Keywords Long Span
Date July 5, 2012


The MGS Long-Span Guardrail System was successfully crash tested and evaluated according to the Test Level 3 (TL-3) safety performance criteria found in MASH. For this testing program, the overall system length was 175 ft, including 75 ft of tangent rail upstream from the long span, a 25-ft long unsupported length, and 75 ft of tangent rail downstream from the long span. As part of the final recommendations, MwRSF had noted to provide a minimum “tangent” guardrail length adjacent to the unsupported length of 62.5 ft.


In lieu of a recent MASH crash testing program on a 75-ft long version of the MGS (unpublished at this time), there may reason to consider potentially reducing the 75-ft total guardrail length on the upstream and downstream ends of MGS Long-Span Guardrail System. For example and based on the MASH 2270P test into the MGS Minimum Length System, we believe that the MGS Long-Span Guardrail System would likely have performed in an acceptable manner with 62.5 ft of rail on the upstream and downstream ends, thus resulting in an overall system length of 150 ft. A 62.5-ft long tangent length adjacent to the unsupported length would still provide adequate space to incorporate a 37.5 ft or 50 ft long energy-absorbing guardrail end terminal.


For unsupported lengths of 18.75 ft and 12.5 ft, it would seem reasonable to consider a reduction in the required guardrail length both upstream and downstream from the unsupported length using the test information and arguments noted above. For two missing posts or an unsupported length of 18.75 ft, we believe that the upstream and downstream guardrail lengths likely could be 56.25 ft each with a minimum overall system length of 131.25 ft. For one missing post or an unsupported length of 12.5 ft, we believe that the upstream and downstream guardrail lengths likely could be 50 ft each with a minimum overall system length of 112.5 ft. However, we believe that the three CRT posts still would be required on the upstream and downstream ends of the 18.75 ft and 12.5 ft long unsupported lengths. In addition, one would need to discuss with and likely obtain approval from the manufacturers as to whether they would allow three CRTs to be used within the last 12.5 ft of a 50-ft long guardrail terminal.


If one were to follow the logic used above and consider the situation of no missing posts (i.e., 6.25 ft post spacing throughout), the upstream and downstream ends would be reduced by 6.25 ft each and include the interior 6.25 ft long span in the middle of the system. As a result, the overall system length would be 43.25 ft + 6.25 ft + 43.25 ft for a total of 92.75 ft. As noted above, MwRSF recently crash tested a 75-ft long version of the MGS with satisfactory results, effectively configured with two 37.5-ft long guardrail segments with tensile anchorage devices and placed end-to-end.


Of course, it should be noted that the design modifications for the 25 ft, 18.75 ft, and 12.5 ft long unsupported lengths were based on engineering judgment combined with the unpublished results from the MGS Minimum Length System crash testing program. In addition, the opinions noted above are based on the assumption that the currently-available proprietary guardrail end terminals would provide comparable tensile anchorage for the MGS as provided by the common tensile anchorage system using in the MwRSF crash testing program (i.e., two steel foundation tubes, one channel strut, one cable anchor with bearing plate, and BCT posts at positions 1 and 2 on each end). Although we are confident that the modifications noted above would provide acceptable performance, the only sure means to fully determine the safety performance of a barrier system is through the use of full-scale vehicle crash testing. We are hopeful that these design modifications can be evaluated in the near future and as part of a continued R&D Pooled Fund program involving the MGS Long-Span Guardrail System.


Please let us know if you have any further questions or comments regarding the information noted above.
Date July 16, 2012

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