An innovative solution

Nov. 9, 2007

The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) is one of a growing number of agencies implementing innovative solutions to meet the modern challenges of traffic and construction management. In Redding, Calif., two small pieces of guardrail were giving the agency and the community a big headache. The guardrail was installed on each side of a tight cloverleaf ramp system that connects I-5, a major statewide artery, with S.R. 44. The guardrail in this area was hit numerous times each year.

The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) is one of a growing number of agencies implementing innovative solutions to meet the modern challenges of traffic and construction management. In Redding, Calif., two small pieces of guardrail were giving the agency and the community a big headache. The guardrail was installed on each side of a tight cloverleaf ramp system that connects I-5, a major statewide artery, with S.R. 44. The guardrail in this area was hit numerous times each year.

According to Glen Hammond, the Caltrans District 2 project engineer, each time the guardrail was impacted hard enough to need repair, it required a full lane closure and a seven-day notice to the traveling public. Additionally, the work had to be done at night to avoid disrupting high traffic volumes during the day. The work required Caltrans maintenance workers to be on foot and in close proximity to high-speed traffic. The district wanted to reduce maintenance worker exposure while still providing an adequate barrier system.

BarrierGuard 800 (distributed in the U.S. by Barrier Systems of Rio Vista, Calif.) is a lightweight steel barrier that offers low deflection and safe vehicle exit angles after impact, which results in excellent postimpact vehicle behavior.

The BarrierGuard 800 assembles quickly on site, with a patented QuickMount connection system that requires only one bolt. The barrier only needs to be anchored at the ends, and it is approved for speeds beyond the speeds for most barriers at Test Level 4. For applications like bridges and drop-offs that require extremely low deflection, BarrierGuard 800 can be installed as a minimum deflection system. When anchored every 20 ft, the system provides less than 1 in. of permanent deflection.

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