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Section 4: Placement of Guardrail

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Overview

The placement of guardrail pertains to the lateral and longitudinal position.

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Lateral Placement at Shoulder Edge or Curb Face

Typically the face of rail is placed at the shoulder edge or curb face throughout most of its length as shown in Figure A-4.

Placement at Shoulder Edge or Curb Face (click in image to see full-size image) Anchor: #i1001744grtop

Figure A-5. Placement at Shoulder Edge or Curb Face

Guardrail placed in the vicinity of curbs should be blocked out so that the face of curb is located directly below or behind the face of rail. Rail placed over curbs should be installed so that the post bolt is located approximately 21 in [550 mm] above the gutter pan or roadway surface.

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Lateral Placement Away From the Shoulder Edge

In certain instances it is desirable to place guardrail closer to the obstacle rather than at the shoulder edge or curb face as shown in Figure A-5. Placement in this manner can substantially reduce the length of rail required to shield a given obstacle and minimize the probability of impact, but undesirably, encroachment angles may increase. This manner of placement is most applicable to small areas of concern—point type obstacles such as overhead sign bridge supports, bridge piers, etc.

To preclude vaulting or impacting at an undesirable position by errant vehicles; care should be exercised in selecting placement location of guardrail with respect to slope conditions. Guardrail may be placed at any lateral location on a side slope only if the slope rate between the edge of the pavement and the face of the barrier is 1V:10H or flatter.

 Location of Roadside Guardrail. Click here to
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Figure A-6. Location of Roadside Guardrail. Click here to see a PDF of the image.

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