Shorter TL-3 MASH W-Beam Transition (613121)

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Problem Statement

When roadways intersect with restrictive features such as a bridge rail, it becomes difficult to fit a transition system with proper length. For this project, TL-3 W-beam transitions with shorter length are desired to be tested. These systems are used when State Departments of Transportation (DOT) need to implement a shorter transition without compromising the integrity of the guardrail system.


The objective of this study is to model and crash test shorter W-beam transition systems for TL-3 MASH compliance.


MASH compliant transition with shorter length will provide the members of the Roadside Safety Pooled Fund with a valuable option in restrictive conditions against roadside hazards.


The TTI research team will prepare and submit a research report fully documenting all the work completed within this project. The research team will provide engineering justification explaining the performed tests.


With successful crash test results, the Roadside Safety Pooled Fund will have MASH compliant systems that can be implemented when using shorter MASH TL-3 w-beam transitions
are necessary.

Work Plan

A similar design of transition in Figure 1 will be used for the installation constructed during this project. The objective is to reduce the 25-ft transition length. For this purpose, the TTI research team first will perform an engineering review of available transition systems and their design variables to shortlist a set of candidates for modeling and evaluation. Then they will conduct a series of simulations of the candidate set. Lastly, the final design will be crash tested for TL-3 MASH compliance.

Figure 1. Thrie Beam Guardrail Bridge Transition and Connection [WVDOT Standard Drawing, 2016].
The work plan for the project will consist of four tasks. Details of the tasks are described below:

Task 1: Engineering Analysis and Review

The TTI research team will perform a thorough engineering review of the available transition systems and their design variables to prepare a set of simulation design concepts. The proposed design concept list will be simulated under Task 2.

Task 2: Simulation

The TTI research team will model the concept transition systems and conduct extensive simulations to evaluate the impact performance of the systems to finalize an optimized shorter transition for full-scale crash testing under Task 3.

Task 3: MASH Test 3-21 Crash Testing of the Transition with Shorter Length

The TTI research team will complete a full-scale MASH 3-21 test on a transition with shorter length. The MASH 2270P (5000 lb) pickup truck will impact the transition at a speed of 62 mph and an angle of 25°. This test will evaluate the performance of a shorter transition system upon impact with the 2270P pickup truck.

Task 4: Evaluation and Reporting

The TTI research team will prepare a research report fully documenting the simulation and evaluation of the two crash tests completed in this project. The report will include detailed engineering drawings of the final transition system. This draft report will follow the reporting recommendations of MASH and will be submitted to the technical representative of the Roadside Safety Pooled Fund for review and approval.

TTI Research Supervisor:
Maysam Kiani, Ph.D.,  E.I.T.
Postdoctorial Research Associate
Texas A&M Transportation Institute
TAMU 3135
College Station, Texas 77843-3135
(979) 317-2693
[email protected]
Pooled Fund Technical Representative:
Joe Hall, P.E., P.S.
WV Division of Highways
Technical Policy QA/QC Engineer
Value Engineering Coordinator
1334 Smith Street
Charleston, WV 25305-0430
(304) 414-6442
[email protected]


  1. West Virginia Department of Transportation, Division of Highways Standard
    Details, Vol. 1, May 2016.