Evaluation of Work Zone Barricades and Temporary Sign SupportsAuthor/Presenter: Mak, King K.; Bligh, Roger P.; Menges, Wanda L.
Safety of work zones is a major area of concern since it is not always possible to maintain a level of safety comparable to that of a normal highway not under construction. Proper traffic control is critical to the safety of work zones. However, traffic control devices themselves may pose a safety hazard when impacted by errant vehicles. Little is known about the impact performance of many work zone traffic control devices. The objective of the study was to provide barricades and temporary sign supports for use in work zones that would perform satisfactorily when impacted by errant vehicles. There were two phases to this study. The first phase pertained to the crash testing and evaluation of the impact performance of existing work zone barricades and temporary sign supports. The second phase involved the development and evaluation of alternate barricades and temporary sign supports for use in work zones. This report summarizes the results of the study conducted under a series of four (4) contracts. A total of 20 full-scale crash tests were conducted on various existing and alternate barricade and temporary sign support designs to assess their safety performance in accordance with guidelines set forth in National Cooperative Highway Research Program (NCHRP) Report 350. Results of these tests indicated that existing wooden barricades and some of the commercially available portable sign supports did not perform satisfactorily in the crash tests. Alternate designs were then developed and evaluated for consideration by the Department. This report presents results of the crash tests together with conclusions and recommendations.