Journal information: ISSN 1976-0485 / eISSN 2234-1315
Corrosion of reinforcing steel bars is the main factor affecting durability and service life of steel-reinforced bridge barriers in North America. The use of glass fiber reinforcing polymer (GFRP) bars as non-corrosive material has emerged as an innovative solution to corrosion related problems. A recent cost-effective design of PL-3 bridge barrier was developed at Ryerson University incorporating high-modulus GFRP bars with headed ends. An experimental program was conducted to investigate the load carrying capacity of the developed barrier wall. A 40-m long barrier was constructed and tested at four different locations to investigate its structural behavior, crack pattern and ultimate strength when subjected to the equivalent static loading simulating vehicle impact. Experimental results were compared with the design values specified in the Canadian Highway Bridge Design Code. Experimental findings showed a large margin of safety for the proposed GFRP-reinforced barriers. The failure pattern due to transversal loading the longitudinal barrier over 2400 mm length was initiated by a trapezoidal flexural crack pattern at front face of the barrier, followed by punching shear failure at the transverse load location. Comparison between the available punching shear equations in the literature and the punching shear failure developed in the barrier wall was conducted.