Design Policy - Roadside Safety Design - Type 31 Beam Guardrail Terminals and Anchors

Buried terminals and non-flared terminals are available for use with Type 31 beam guardrail. The Buried terminal is the preferred terminal. A non-flared terminal can be used where a buried terminal cannot be installed. 

Identifying the different guardrail terminals 
Check below for a graphic that shows terminals used by WSDOT over the years. Some are no longer used, and some new terminals are not shown.

Common Energy Absorbing Guardrail Terminals

Type 31 Buried Terminal
Buried terminal is the preferred terminal for Type 31 beam guardrail because it eliminates the exposed end of the guardrail. The guardrail is anchored in a backslope that is 1V:3H or steeper and at least 4 feet in height.

Buried Terminal Type 2

Buried Terminal Type 2 is used when the foreslope is as steep as 1V:4H. A more abrupt flare is acceptable after the rail passed the bottom of the ditch. The height of the guardrail is maintained relative to the roadway and a rubrail is used along the exposed portion of the posts, see Standard Plan C-22.16 

Type 31 Non-flared Terminal
As of January 6, 2017, Type 31 beam guardrail non-flared terminals are required to be MASH compliant. The following MASH compliant Type 31 beam guardrail terminals are currently listed on the Qualified Products List (QPL):

The Standard Plans identify proprietary non-flared terminal designs. The Standard Plans do not show all of the details needed to construct these terminals. The Standard Plans supplement the manufacturers drawings which can be downloaded below. 

Manufacturer's Drawings
For use with 31 inch systems:

The SoftStop and the MSKT-SP-MGS are only supplied with steel posts, but can be used with wood post or steel post guardrail runs.

Type 31 Anchors
A guardrail anchor is needed at the end of a run of guardrail to develop tensile strength throughout its length. See Anchor Type 10 Standard Plan C-23.60


Roadside Safety Contact
Tim Moeckel, PE
Roadside Safety Engineer
Phone: 360-704-6377
Fax: 360-705-6815