Experimental and Numerical Investigation of Prefabricated Concrete Barrier Systems Using Ultra-High-Performance Concrete

Abbas Khodayari, Islam M. Mantawy, Atorod Azizinamini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


The functionality and crashworthiness of concrete barriers in bridge systems can be affected by the deterioration of the connection between bridge decks and concrete barriers. A set of details for barrier-to-deck connections for accelerated bridge construction (ABC) applications are proposed. Component-level testing was carried out on a conventional cast-in-place (CIP) detail and two versions of connections using ultra-high-performance concrete (UHPC). The use of UHPC allows for shorter development length and lap splice length for dowel bars and the material characteristics provide strength and durability to the connection. Two connection details were proposed: (1) UHPC connection within the barrier segment (U-shape connection) and (2) UHPC connection in a recess inside the bridge deck (recessed connection). Besides simplified details, the construction sequence of the proposed recessed connection is suitable for ABC applications. It is observed that the proposed U-shape connection detail is emulative of the equivalent CIP concrete barrier system. However, the recessed connection system can undergo significantly larger deflections at ultimate load compared with the CIP barrier system and exhibits a preferred mode of failure while the deck does not undergo significant damage. The results of the component testing were used to calibrate non-linear finite element models. Using validated models, numerical analyses were performed to investigate the structural performance of conventional 15 ft long barrier modules connected to the deck overhang using the recessed connection. The model was subjected to the end-loading configuration and it was found that the proposed barrier system meets the strength requirement for the corresponding test level.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)624-634
Number of pages11
JournalTransportation Research Record
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2023

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering


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