Among the various Median Barrier
designs, the GM Barrier was one of the early designs to be used in America
. The concrete barrier was developed by General Motors
and the Texas Transportation Institute
in the early 1970s. It is similar in appearance to the New Jersey Barrier
(NJB), but is clearly fatter. The slope breakpoint
is also approximately 3 inches higher than the NJB. The GM Barrier was designed
, not evolved
like other Median Barriers, by crash testing. The barrier was larger than those used today, mostly because cars were larger back then
The GM Barrier was used in Virginia until the late 1970s or early 1980s. The Capital Beltway widening project of 1974-1977 also used the GM Barrier. The Shirley Highway reconstruction from King Street to the Potomac River used it in 1969-1975, and several miles of the I-95 in South Richmond used the GM Barrier when the road was widened in 1974-1978.
Today, the GM Barrier is considered to be obsolete, and has been replaced with the New Jersey Barrier, the Constant-Slope Barrier, or the new trend, the F-Shape Barrier.