Chapter 2: Policies on Use of Bridge Railing for Vehicular Traffic

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Section 1: Overview

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Introduction

This chapter describes the federal and state policies for using bridge railing on bridges and bridge-class culverts carrying vehicular traffic, including:

  • Crash-testing requirements
  • Approval of bridge railing
  • Rail type selection
  • Allowable uses of bridge railing for specific installations

When a structure includes non-vehicular traffic, either alone or in combination with vehicular traffic, other requirements must be satisfied. See Chapter 3, "Pedestrian, Bicycle, and ADA Requirements for Bridge Railing," for these requirements.

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Definitions

Bridge railings are classified for use according to the following definitions:

  • Traffic Railing - a railing that has been successfully crash-tested to current test criteria, which is used adjacent to vehicular traffic.
  • Pedestrian Railing - a railing used adjacent to a pedestrian walkway, which has specific height and opening requirements. Railings in this Manual and the TxDOT Bridge Division Bridge Standards that are titled "Pedestrian" (a "P" prefix) have not been crash-tested and cannot be used adjacent to vehicular traffic.
  • Combination Railing - a traffic railing that also satisfies the height and opening requirements of a pedestrian railing.

This chapter addresses bridge railings that are classified as traffic railing and combination railing, when used with vehicular traffic. See Chapter 3, "Pedestrian, Bicycle, and ADA Requirements for Bridge Railing," for use of pedestrian and combination railing with non-vehicular traffic.


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