California Department of Transportation

Roadside Safety Research Group

This branch is responsible for evaluating the crash worthiness of roadside safety technology such as barriers, guardrails, crash cushions, bridge rails, sign supports and other hardware. The branch conducts full-scale crash tests on roadside safety hardware designs developed by Caltrans to assure that these designs comply with applicable crash performance criteria. It also evaluates the crash worthiness of proprietary hardware developed by others to assure that such hardware is acceptable for use on state highways. Finally, the branch provides support to Caltrans Legal in tort liability cases by conducting crash tests and providing technical assessments and expert witness testimony.


Research in Progress

  • Roadside Safety Computer Simulation
  • Side Mounted Bridge Rail
  • Type 60 MASH
  • Development of a Replacement for the Type-15-FBS Breakaway Pole in Compliance with MASH 2016
  • Development of the Type 85, Concrete Post-and-Beam Bridge Railing in Compliance with MASH 2016
  • Development of Bridge Railing Transition in Compliance with MASH 2016
  • Development of the Type ST75SB, Steel Post-and-Beam Bridge Railing in Compliance with MASH 2016
  • Evaluation of Ramp Metering Type 1A and 1B Poles for MASH Compliance

MASH (Manual for Assessing Safety Hardware) Implementation

Roadside Safety Research Implementation Information

The following table is intended to provide links to details and final reports for research performed by the Roadside Safety Research Branch in recent years.

Research Projects Federal
Product [Method of implementation] Structure XS
Sheets Number
Compliance Crash Testing of the Type 732SW Bridge Rail FHWA/CA15-2181 Standard Plan: B11-58, B11-59;
732SW Memo
Development of an Aesthetic/Low Maintenance Guardrail System FHWA/CA15-0918 Final Report   FHWA/CA15-0918
Investigation of the Crashworthiness of Barrier Mounted Hardware: Barrier Mounted Sign and Signpost FHWA/CA10-0644 Standard Plan: A76BA, A76BB, A76BC; Final Report   FHWA/CA10-0644
Low Profile Barrier FHWA/CA10-0645 Final Report   FHWA/CA10-0645
Weed Control Barrier Beneath Metal Beam Guardrail FHWA/CA10-0515

Standard Plan(s) RSP A77N5, N6, N7, N8, N9, N10

Development and Crash Testing of an Aesthetic, See - Through Bridge Rail, Type 90 FHWA/CA08-0766 Final Report xs16-050-1,2,3 FHWA/CA08-0766
Crashworthiness Testing of a Portable Maintenance Work-Zone Barrier CA08-0277 Plans and Specifications maintained by Division of Equipment   FHWA/CA08-0277
Crash Testing of Various Roadside Hardware FHWA/CA/MI-2006/22 Final Report   FHWA/CA/MI-2006/22
Staking Configurations For K-Rail FHWA/CA/MI-2006/21 Standard Plan T3B   FHWA/CA/MI-2006/21
Crash Testing of Various Textured Barriers F2001TL17 Landscape Architecture Highway Barrier Aesthetics Web Page   FHWA/CA/
ST-20 Bridge Rail F00SD202 Standard Plan:
ST-20: B11-71, B11-72, B11-73, B11-74
ST-70: B11-75, B11-76, B11-77, B11-78
Compliance Crash Testing Of K-Rail Used In Semi-permanent Installations F99TL30 Standard Plan T3   FHWA/CA/
Type 60K Portable Barrier F99TL36 Standard Plan(s) A63A, A63B   FHWA/CA/
Compliance Crash Testing Of A Steel Version Of The Type 732 Bridge Rail F2000TL22 Final Report   FHWA/CA/
Bridge Rail Transition F99TL28 Standard Plan(s) A78K,
various A78 series

xs16-010, xs16-020,
, xs16-026,


Type 80 Bridge Rail F94TL48 Standard Plan(s): B11-60, B11-61, B11-64   FHWA/CA/
ESC-98-06 Part 3
Type 80SW Bridge Rail F94TL48 Standard Plan(s): B11-62, B11-63, B11-64   FHWA/CA/
ESC-98-06 Part 2
Vehicle Crash Tests Of The Type 70 Bridge Rail F94TL48 Standard Plan(s): B11-55, B11-56, B11-57   FHWA/CA/
ESC-98-06 Part 1
Type 60 Median Barrier: Vehicular Crash Tests of a Slip-formed, Single Slope, Concrete Median Barrier with Integral Concrete Glare Screen F92TL08 Standard Plan(s) A76A through A76I   FHWA/CA/