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Federal Highway Administration Research and Technology
Coordinating, Developing, and Delivering Highway Transportation Innovations

This report is an archived publication and may contain dated technical, contact, and link information
Publication Number: FHWA-RT-90-001
Date: May 1996

W-Beam Guardrail Repair and Maintenance




The location of posts, bridge piers, steep ditch slopes, or some other feature of the road creates a hazard to drivers who get off their lane. When we have a road section that engineers have decided needs a guardrail to make travel safe enough, it is important that we maintain that guardrail. We must also repair that guardrail so it can protect people who happen to run off the road. In most states we have a duty, by law, to maintain the road in a safe condition as the original design intended.

Maintenance workers are the front-line troops to keep the road safe just as much as any state trooper. They will likely be among the first persons to see any damage who understand the importance of a guardrail in keeping a road safe. Their actions will be important in preserving road safety.

Keeping track of the damage to guardrails, making repairs quickly, and recording the repairs made will help limit lawsuits. The claims made will more likely be fair if good maintenance is done.


W-Beam Guardrail Repair and Maintenance

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