Publication Date



Open access

Embargo Period


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Engineering (ME)


Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering (Engineering)

Date of Defense


First Committee Member

Antonio Nanni

Second Committee Member

Marco Savoia

Third Committee Member

Guillermo Claure

Fourth Committee Member

Francisco J. De Caso y Basalo

Fifth Committee Member

Landolf Rhode-Barbarigos

Sixth Committee Member

Wimal Suaris


The aim of this thesis is to develop the necessary design knowledge and tools to implement an innovative Glass Fiber Reinforced Polymer (GFRP) rebar shape in traffic railings. The innovation lies in the use of GFRP continuous closed stirrups that have become recently available. The design method is based on AASHTO-LRFD Bridge Design Specification and the latest specifications issued by the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) for Reinforced Concrete Traffic Barriers. After the review of existing design procedures focusing on traffic barriers and understanding the mechanical characteristics of GFRP reinforcement, a modified design approach is proposed for reducing reinforcement ratios and complexity in construction. The effort included two different type of traffic railings, namely: 36”–Single Slope (36–SS) and FDOT 32” F–Shape (F32). The 36–SS is to be used as a later time test specimen. The F32 is showcased in the Halls River Bridge Replacement Project. Finally, a Mathcad application tool developed for public use as part of the FDOT design examples library illustrates the application of this configuration for traffic barriers. Continuous close GFRP stirrups champion the versatility of the FRP composite technology by accommodating to most requirements. The use of GFRP stirrups in traffic railings complements the application of non-corrosive reinforcement in transportation structures to address the demand for sustainable construction practices.


GFRP; Traffic Railing; Halls River Bridge; FDOT; Continuous Closed GFRP Stirrups; Mathcad