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Context Sensitive Design Solutions and Ideas

State of Florida
The State of Florida commissioned the University of Florida to design, develop, and evaluate a new type of portable concrete longitudinal barrier.

The primary function of the barrier is to prevent vehicular penetration into the roadside environment.

This curb/barrier design successfully passed crash testing conforming to NCHRP Report 350 Test Level 2 (70km/h).

Click to see image


City of Tacoma
The City of Tacoma recently came up with a creative solution to a challenging situation: how to design a re-directional barrier for a railroad overcrossing that would also satisfy the site's "rails to sails" artistic theme. Take a peek at their tugboat-themed barrier planter box.

Click to see image

Midwest RSF
This is an example of a Low Profile Bridge Rail (pdf, 48 kb) as detailed on the plan sheet from the Midwest Roadside Safety Facility. This plan sheet illustrates the details for end view, rebar details, rebar longitudinal details, and the isometric rail view. Included are some photos to better illustrate these details.


For more information see FHWA approval letter with link below:


State Route 303

 jpg The low profile barrier was constructed at a location along State Route 303, north of Bremerton, for posted speeds of 45-50 mph.
 jpg Sloped end treatments were used in the 45 mph section.
  Median barrier configurations such as these may be landscaped or capped with concrete.

Community Partnerships
WSDOT’s Highways and Local Programs Office convened a forum that was tasked with improving WSDOT’s interactions with local jurisdictions; particularly on projects planned, scoped, and built within urban areas. This was the result of a Washington Transportation Commission policy directing WSDOT to “provide and promote civic engagement and a sense of place through safe, sustainable choices for a variety of elements including housing, transportation, education, cultural diversity, enrichment and recreation”.

As a result, the forum has developed a best practices guidebook “Building Projects that Build Communities” (pdf, 3.9 mb) as a resource for both local agencies and WSDOT staff.