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FHWA Home / Safety / Roadway Departure / Crashworthy Work Zone Traffic Control Devices

Work Zone Devices

Federal Highway Administration policy calls for the use of crashworthy channelizers, signs, barricades, barriers, etc., in work zones on the National Highway System. "Crashworthy" devices are those that have passed a crash test conducted under the guidance of NCHRP Report 350 or the AASHTO MASH. From the links on this page you can read about FHWA policy on crashworthy hardware, learn about the different categories of work zone devices, search for FHWA Acceptance Letters on all devices that have been deemed crashworthy, review Frequently Asked Questions about work zone devices.

FHWA guidance on crash testing of work zone traffic control devices is contained in two memoranda. The first, dated July 25, 1997, titled "Information: Identifying Acceptable Highway Safety Features," [HTML, PDF 1.24 MB] established four categories of work zone devices:

The second guidance memorandum, "INFORMATION: Crash Tested Work Zone Traffic Control Devices" [PDF 3.72 MB] was issued on August 28, 1998 This more recent memorandum lists devices that are acceptable under Categories I, II, and III, and provided compliance dates for hardware to be used on the National Highway System. All new work zone hardware on the NHS must now comply and be crashworthy, with the exception of Category IV trailer mounted devices. FHWA will continue to monitor the crash history of these devices and intends to issue additional guidance in October of 2006.

Page last modified on October 15, 2014.
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