Type 86H Concrete Post and Beam Bridge Rail


There are many bridges in California built with the aesthetically pleasing concrete baluster rail that are on the National Historic Register.  Unfortunately, these baluster rails do not meet the crashworthiness requirements of the Manual for Assessing Safety Hardware (MASH) 2016 standards. The Type 86H Concrete Barrier has been designed to meet these current safety standards. Caltrans has established a plan to test this new design as one of many roadside safety projects so that it complies with both Caltrans’ design standards and the implementation agreement of MASH 2016. MASH Test Level 4 criteria for “Longitudinal Barriers” comprising of tests 4-10, 4-11, and 4-12 were used for this project.

Development and Construction of the Type 86H Concrete Post and Beam Bridge Rail

The California Type 86H Concrete Post and Beam Bridge Rail has been developed by Caltrans Division of Engineering Services and Earthquake Engineering as a taller version of the Type 85 Concrete Post and Beam Bridge Rail with a smaller beam.  The Type 86H is designed with an 18” tall curb dimension to minimize intrusion of the vehicle’s wheel upon impact and for a larger distribution of the impact loads into deck. Like the Type 85, the Type 86H has a sloping top for the purpose of making snow removal operations and drainage from melting snow easier. The minimum vertical 14” space between the beam and curb was designed to allow for greater visibility. The Type 86H test article was constructed multiple stages. A typical cross-section is shown in Figure 1. 

Cross Section for type 86h

Figure 1. Cross Section

A 100 ft. test section of the bridge rail with 12 posts was constructed at the Caltrans Dynamic Test Facility. The barrier was constructed in separate concrete pours for the deck, curb, and post and beam. 


Construction deck for type 86h

Construction of Deck 

Post Rebar and Foam Window Form for type 86h

Post Rebar & Foam Window Form 


Post and Bean Pour for type 86h

Post & Beam Pour 


Completed barrier for type86h

Completed Barrier 

Impact Conditions

Test 110MASH4C21-01 (MASH Test 4-10)

Vehicle: 2015 Nissan Versa
Impact Speed: 61.9 mph (99.6 km/h);
Impact Angle: 25.2°

Test 110MASH4P21-02 (MASH Test 4-11)

Vehicle: 2018 Dodge Ram 1500
Impact Speed: 62.0 mph (99.7 km/h);
Impact Angle: 25.3°

Test 110MASH4S21-03 (MASH Test 4-12)

Vehicle: 2009 Freightliner M2
Impact Speed: 54.7 mph (88.1 km/h);
Impact Angle: 15.0°

High Speed Crash Test Video

Action Camera Crash Test Video

Related Documents

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