EFFECT OF PRE-CUT ASPHALT FRACTURE PLANES ON HIGHWAY GUARDRAIL PERFORMANCE
Free (open access)
Volume 4 (2016), Issue 3
353 - 363
S.H. LEE, E. BAKHTIARY, L.K. STEWART, D. SCOTT & D. WHITE
The preferred procedure for steel guardrails in the state of Georgia, USA for vehicle impact employs a post-installation machine to drive the posts through a layer of asphalt placed to retard vegetation growth around the system. However, in order to avoid undesirable restraint at the ground line, the AASHTO Roadside Design Guide recommends incorporating leave-outs. Using a leave-out in vegetation barriers is seen as less desirable because of issues including significantly higher expected costs, variability in the placement and spacing of posts, and the need for variable construction scheduling. In lieu of leave- outs, predetermined fracture planes, or “pre-cuts” were installed in the asphalt and evaluated in terms of ground restraint. An experimental program was carried out on an outdoor test site. Posts were installed in pre-cut asphalt and subjected to static loading to provide a better understanding of the behavior of a post restrained with an asphalt layer at the ground line. In parallel with the experimental program, a three dimensional finite element model was developed for a guardrail post installed through an asphalt layer. The model was refined using the experimental results from the test program as well as material testing. Results from the experimental program and finite element analyses indicate that certain pre-cutting configurations lead to significantly less ground restraint as desired.
asphalt, guardrail, pre-cuts, vehicle impact