Repair and Retrofit Anchorage Designs for Two Texas Department of Transportation Bridge Rails

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

mode - rail, organisation - structures


Wear resistance, Texas Department of Transportation, Texas, Strengthening (Maintenance), Static tests, Retrofitting, Repairing, Repair, Prototype tests, Full scale tests, Epoxy resins, Dynamic tests, Durability, Bridge rails, Bridge railings, Anchorages, Anchorage (Structures), Adhesive strength


A project was focused on developing alternative rail anchorage systems for the Texas Department of Transportation’s T501 and T203 bridge rail systems. The project considered only epoxy adhesive anchoring systems for each of these railings for use in repair and retrofit situations. Full-scale testing was performed on both rail types, and strength data were obtained with instrumented strain gauges on the rail anchorage for both rail types. These data were analyzed and used to develop alternate rail anchorage systems for both T501 and T203 bridge rails. Long-term durability of epoxy anchoring systems was also considered. The retrofit–repair strengths from the dynamic and static testing for both the T501 and the T203 compared closely to the dynamic and static strengths of the current strengths capacities. In summary, the strengths of the retrofit designs were close to and in some tests exceeded the calculated capacities of the bridge rails. The static strengths were close to the dynamic 50-ms average strengths recorded from the bogie testing. The new retrofit–repair designs developed and tested for this project are recommended for implementation for use on any new or existing bridge projects. The use of the Hilti RE 500 adhesive anchoring system was successful in achieving the strengths needed to adequately anchor the retrofit–repair reinforcement for both the T501 and the T203 bridge rails. The information learned from this project can be used to retrofit and repair other bridge rail designs in the future.