The bridge railing constructed on the approaches to the US-41 northbound bridge over the Ohio River at Henderson, Kentucky, is not in conformance with specifications The vertical face was constructed to be an average height of 4 3/4 inches above the pavement surface rather than the specified 3 inches. From the top of the vertical face, the barrier conformed to a standard New Jersey barrier. However, this meant the intersection between the two sloping surfaces was 14 1/2 inches rather than 13 inches above the pavement surface.

An analysis was conducted to ascertain whether the in-place barrier walls (bridge rail) are more or less hazardous than a wall built to specified dimensions. The major negative factor that may be associated with the railing, as constructed, was an increased tendency for vehicle rollovers compared to a rail built with specified dimensions. However, there has not been any substantial differences observed in overall accident severity (using Kentucky or other accident data) between a barrier with dimensions as constructed on US-41 (New Jersey Modified) and the standard New Jersey or General Motors barrier. In addition, potential problems associated with the barrier dimensions will be mitigated by the slope of the roadway cross section and the high probability that collisions will be at low impact angles. In summary, no conclusive evidence was found to show that the overall performance of the barrier (bridge rail), as constructed, will be more or less hazardous than the barrier rail as specified.

Report Date


Report Number


Digital Object Identifier



The contents of this report do not necessarily reflect the official views or policies of the University of Kentucky, the Federal Highway Administration, or the Kentucky Department of Highways. This report does not constitute a standard, specification, or regulation.