Wyoming Technology Transfer Center, Department of Civil & Architectural Engineering, University of Wyoming, 1000 E. University Avenue, Dept. 3295 Laramie, WY 82071, USA
Based on the statistics, roadsides include a considerable portion of the fatal crashes annually. Barrier systems are one of the important components of roadside that plays a key role in mitigating the severity of these crashes and save more lives. Despite the substantial role of barrier systems, unfortunately, there is no unified rating system in the barrier condition assessments to utilize for the optimization of the improvements. As the primary contribution in this study, a new Barrier Condition Index (BCI) was proposed to unify the barrier assessment studies to use the same reference for rating barrier systems. This fact makes the decision-makers able to establish a prioritized ranking for optimizing the barrier improvements. For this purpose, the research investigated a comprehensive list of damages in barrier systems. Then, appropriate coefficients were given to the damage types based on their effects on the performance of the system reviewing the previous works. To show the practicability of the new BCI as an example for the whole procedure of the assessment, six different barrier systems located in Wind River Indian Reservation (WRIR), Wyoming, were also evaluated in the study. Based on the evaluation done, the BCI was used to rank the performance of the barriers. Three of the barrier segments at WRIR was introduced as the high-severity level which should be considered in the first priority of the improvement phase.
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