|TTI Research Supervisor:
James Kovar, E.I.T
Assistant Research Scientist
Texas A&M Transportation Institute
College Station, Texas 77843-3135
|Pooled Fund Technical Representative:
Traffic Services Engineer
WV DOT – Traffic Engineering
Building 5, Room A-550
1900 Kanawha Blvd E.
Charleston, WV 25305-0430
The Roadside Safety Pooled Fund has prioritized their research needs for various barrier systems.
A multi-directional breakaway mechanism design for large sign assemblies is desired to be
developed for installations near intersections. One concern with this topic is minimizing cost to the
states during implementation. Currently, states may have large inventories of existing sign
assembly components. Therefore, one desired objective is to develop a retrofit option for a
unidirectional to multi-directional design that will maximize use of existing installations and
inventories. This project has been split into two phases because of budgetary availability. Phase 1
covers the design, analysis, and component testing efforts. Phase 2 involves the full-scale crash
testing. Phase 2 will be available for prioritization during the FY22 Roadside Safety Pooled Fund
The primary objective of this study is to develop a multi-directional breakaway mechanism design
for large sign assemblies. This phase will use analysis and component testing to provide insight
into the system’s behavior before full-scale crash testing in Phase 2.
This project will benefit the members of the Roadside Safety Pooled Fund by providing a multidirectional breakaway mechanism design for large sign assemblies. This will allow states to use a
MASH compliant design when installing large sign assemblies to be installing near intersections.
A retrofit design will maximize use of existing installations and stock while minimizing cost to
the members of the Roadside Safety Pooled Fund.
The TTI research team will develop a multi-directional breakaway mechanism design for large
sign assemblies through the use of analysis and component testing. Evaluation through full-scale
crash testing may be prioritized in Phase 2. The TTI research team will prepare and submit a
research report fully documenting all of the work completed within this phase. This report will
be submitted to the technical representative of the Roadside Safety Pooled Fund for review and
The work plan for this phase will consist of two tasks. The first task is titled Engineering Analysis
and Design. The second task is titled Component Testing.
Task 1: Engineering Analysis and Design
The Task objective is to develop a multi-directional breakaway mechanism design for large sign
assemblies. The TTI research team will first survey the members of the Roadside Safety Pooled
Fund for details regarding any currently used multi-directional and unidirectional sign support
breakaway mechanisms. This survey will also gather information on large sign assembly details
found across the country. With this information, the TTI research team will develop a design
concept for a multi-direction breakaway mechanism. Ideally, this design will be a retrofit that can
be used with existing installations and inventories. Figure 1 below shows an example of a large
sign assembly which could be retrofitted with this multi-directional breakaway mechanism.
Task 2: Component Testing
The task objective is to complete component testing to evaluate the proper function of the multidirectional breakaway mechanism design prior to full-scale testing in Phase II.
This testing will consist of using a surrogate vehicle to impact a large sign assembly which has the
multi-directional breakaway mechanism. The TTI research team will use this component testing
to guide any design options that may arise from Task 1.