A Complete Guide To Highway Guardrail Installation

the featured image for a post about guardrail installation

To buy highway guardrail is one thing, to install it is another thing. To install the guardrail requires proficiency, knowledge, and team. But it still matters to learn about how to install the guardrail before consulting a company.

Generally speaking, there are totally four steps for installing a highway guardrail system. No matter it’s w beam guardrail or their beam guardrail, the steps are very similar.

1. Initial guardrail post laying.

guardrail post installation method
install a guardrail post

For the median road guardrail post, the reference line is the curb line. The posts are laid alongside the curb line. For the roadside posts, the reference line will be the road median line.

First of all, take the turning or cross of the bridge, channel, culvert, or median as the starting point, measure the distance, and mark the positioning for each post.

Smartly adjust the distance between every two posts to avoid the number of non-standard-length guardrail section usage. Keep the post position from places with telecom facility, electricity pipes, drainage pipes where the piling is not possible.

Secondly, measure the post installation height with a level meter. Mark the height in each post.

2. Install the guardrail post

pile machine for guardrail post installation
a pile engine is installing guardrail post

2.1 Direct piling

For the normal road, the posts can be punched into the ground directly.

In practice, before construction, calculate the depth of the piling. Double-check with the height mark previously added in the last step.

During the punch, measure the vertical degree with a meter from time to time. Check if the post deviates from the planned position.

When the depth is approaching, control the hammer hitting frequency and the force. Make sure the post falls into the right attitude.

2.2 Digging

If the ground is not possible to pile directly, you need to dig a hole first and then bury the post in it. After that, refill the earth to the hole and tamp it. Make sure the solid level of the tamped soil is as firm as the original soil.

2.3 Concrete base

For the position where there is a structure object beneath the earth, and the height from the ground to the top of the object is shorter than the required post piling length, the correct way to install guardrail post is to build a concrete basement block on the ground.

After the concrete is reinforced, install the post with a water-proof washer in the basement block, adjust the height, and then fasten the bolt.

3. Offset block installation

guardrail offset block installation
offset blocks after installation

The offset block is installed by a connecting bolt to the post and the guardrail beam.

Adjust the position of the three items before fastening the bolt. Make sure the guardrail faces are at the same level. After the offset block is installed, you need also to install the guardrail post cap.

4. Guardrail beam installation

guardrail beams installation
the guardrail beams are properly connected

The installation direction is the same as the traffic direction.

Use a connecting bolt to fix the guardrail beam to the offset block, but fasten it later.

Check if the all the guardrail beam faces are at the same level, adjust it with the bolt hole on the beam.

Fasten the connecting bolts at this step.

Tips for highway guardrail installation

  • Pay attention to the surface of the guardrail as most of the time, the guardrail galvanized. If the treatment is broken, the anti-corrosion feature will be lost.
  • When there is a high voltage transmission line passes the guardrail facility, the earth line must be connected according to the power department.
  • The standard guardrail system of one kilometer requires 250 guardrail beams, 250 guardrail posts, 2 terminals, 250 post caps, 250 offset blocks, and 250 sets of bolts. But this is just a reference. Adjust it according to the road situation.
  • Installing highway guardrail is not an easy job. It needs to be done by a professional team, you need to consult with a guardrail installation company.
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