WIT Press

Preliminary Impact Testing Of Portable Safety/security Barriers


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Paper DOI



WIT Press


R. Gutkowski & M. Butler


This paper describes the development and implementation of a facility to conduct affordable, logistically convenient, preliminary vehicle impact performance tests of roadway safety and security barriers. The facility serves as a means to test barriers at a very low cost compared to comprehensive official federal government tests. Successful performance would be an indicator of likely success in the official tests. A hillside ramp, curved transition, and horizontal approach comprise the main components. A pilot test of eleven interconnected portable barriers was conducted and the test vehicle and ramp performed as envisioned. While not a goal of the project, the barriers themselves met the technical criteria for structural adequacy and after-impact vehicle trajectory. It is anticipated that if tested to official federal standards the barriers would perform successfully. 1 Background Recently, in the U.S.A., interest in portable safety and security barriers heightened with growing concern about potential terrorist’s attacks creating nationwide security needs. The study described herein concerns the development of a facility for cost-effective, expedient testing of roadway safety and security barriers. While the usual use of barriers is for safety during construction, etc., their use in security has risen, too. The project emanated from an inquiry from a small local manufacturing firm (Safety Barriers Corporation of Colorado, Ft. Collins, Colorado) which had been belatedly approached about potential use of its portable barriers at the Winter Olympic Games site in Salt Lake City. The Fort Collins Army Reserve had begun using their portable barrier system as a safety shield for its facilities.