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Deception Pass Log Rail

Description: Washington State Route 20 in northwest Washington passes through the Deception Pass State Park. The Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) constructed the portion of SR 20 within the park in the mid 1930's. As part of this work, the CCC constructed a stone masonry bollard and log rail system to delineate the edge of the road and prevent early model vehicles from leaving the roadway (see Figure 2). Due to their age, quality of workmanship, and importance to the surroundings, the bridges and log rails are eligible for the National Register of Historic Places.

Previous attempts to replace this rail with a crashworthy system were unsuccessful due to concerns for preserving the aesthetic and historic integrity of the park. A new approach was adopted that began with understanding the context of the highway and the concerns of the other stakeholders. In addition, the stakeholders were educated on the safety issues. As a result, a solution was developed that was acceptable to all the stakeholders. The primary solution involved the development of a new barrier that replicated the appearance of the original log rail. This barrier was crash tested in accordance with the NCHRP Report 350 TL-2 criteria and is available for use in other locations where an aesthetic barrier is desired.

  • Date Published: November, 2004
  • Publication Number: WA-RD 642.1
  • Last Modified: April 4, 2007
  • Authors: Omar W. Jepperson, William F. Williams, Richard B. Albin.
  • Originator: Washington (State). Dept. of Transportation. Design Office.
  • # of Pages: 27 p., 2,202 KB (PDF)
  • Subject: Bridge railings, Guardrails, Barriers (Roads), Bollards, Logs, Historic bridges, Highway safety, Crashworthiness, Historic preservation, Historic sites, Aesthetics, Context sensitive design.
  • Keywords: Guardrail, barrier, log rail, timber rail, wood rail, crash test, aesthetic, context sensitve.
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This abstract was last modified January 26, 2009