Civil and Environmental Engineering



Ronald K. Faller

Document Type


Date of this Version



Journal of Bridge Engineering 18:11 (2013), pp. 1198–1208.


Copyright © 2013 American Society of Civil Engineers

doi: 10.1061/(ASCE)BE.1943-5592.0000407


Fiber-reinforced polymer (FRP) composite materials can be used for the fabrication of lightweight, corrosion-resistant honeycomb sandwich panels, representing a convenient and economical alternative to traditional steel RC for bridge decks. Composite panels are particularly advantageous for the construction of temporary bridge structures in terms of both ease of construction and reusability of panels. Although FRP sandwich panels have been considered for the construction of bridge decks, no barrier system has been developed and crash tested for use with this specific type of deck. The objective of this research project was to develop a crashworthy concrete barrier system for use with temporary FRP composite bridge decks. Upon failure of a full-scale crash test with a New Jersey concrete safety shape barrier, an accurate analysis of the potential problems led to a series of design modifications to the barrier as well as to the attachment between the composite deck and both the bridge structure and the barrier. The second design, which used a vertical-faced barrier, was successfully crash tested according to Test-Level 3 impact safety standards set forth in the AASHTO Manual for Assessing Safety Hardware (MASH).