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FHWA Home / Safety / Roadway Departure / Safety Eligibility Letter

Safety Eligibility Letter B-229

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U.S. Department of Transportation
Federal Highway Administration

1200 New Jersey Ave. S.E.
Washington, D.C. 20590

February 6, 2012

In Reply Refer To:
HSST/B-229

Mr. Terry Colquhoun
Business Development Manager
Ingal Civil Products
57-65 Airds Road
Minto NSW 2566
Australia

Dear Mr. Colquhoun:

This letter is in response to your request for the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) to review a roadside safety system for eligibility for reimbursement under the Federal-aid highway program.   

Name of system: Ezy-Guard W-Beam & Ezy-Guard Heavy Duty (HD) W-Beam
Longitudinal Barrier Systems
Type of system: Steel Post and W-beam roadside barrier
Test Level:

AASHTO Manual for Assessing Safety Hardware (MASH)
Test Level 3 (TL3)

Testing conducted by: Holmes Solutions Ltd
Task Force 13 Designator: SGR44
Date of request: July 14, 2011
Date initially acknowledged: July 14, 2011
Date of completed package: December 15, 2011

Decision:
The following device is eligible, with details provided below:

Based on a review of crash test results submitted by the manufacturer certifying the device described herein meets the crashworthiness criteria of the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials' Manual for Assessing Safety Hardware (MASH), the device is eligible for reimbursement under the Federal-aid highway program.  Eligibility for reimbursement under the Federal-aid highway program does not establish approval or endorsement by the FHWA for any particular purpose or use. 

The FHWA, the Department of Transportation, and the United States Government do not endorse products or services and the issuance of a reimbursement eligibility letter is not an endorsement of any product or service.

Requirements
Roadside safety devices should meet the guidelines contained in the MASH.

Description

  1. Ingal EZY-Guard W-beam longitudinal barrier system:

    The Ingal W-beam Guardrail system consists of W-beam guardrail attached to U section line posts via a slider bracket and attachment bolt. Line posts were driven 1170 millimeters into AASHTO M147-65 Standard Soil at 2000 millimeters centers. A total of 31 posts were installed with a length of need (LON) of 60.0 meters. The finished nominal rail height of the system was 790 millimeters (31 inches).

    The guardrail consisted of Ingal Flexbeam G4 W-beam guard rail sections with a 4.0 meters net laying length (NLL). Flexbeam is a standard 12ga (2.7millimeters) galvanized W-beam section conforming to AASHTO M-180 Class A.

    The slider brackets were manufactured from ductile iron and consisted of a 110 millimeters  × 70 millimeters × 10 millimeters thick plate with a single M16 threaded hole. The slider plate fits down over the flanges of the line posts and is seated on the stopper plate. The threaded hole providing a mounting point for the guardrail via M16 post bolts.

    The steel line posts were 5 lb/ft hot rolled high tensile steel fabricated in a U-section approximately 51 millimeters (2 inches) deep by 91 millimeters (3-1/2 inches) wide and 1980 millimeters (78 inches) long and hot dip galvanized. Posts incorporated a 90 millimeters × 10 millimeters × 3 millimeters  mild steel stopper plate welded across the U-section 210 millimeters (8 inches) from the top edge for seating of the slider bracket.

    Guardrail sections were joined together with standard M16 × 32 galvanized mushroom head splice bolts and M16 oversize nuts. Guardrail sections were fixed to the slider brackets with a single machined steel M16 bolt with oversize head.

    An ET-2000 Plus Steel Yielding Terminal Post System, tested and approved to NCHRP 350 TL-3, was installed at each end of the barrier LON. Each terminal end consisted of an extruder head assembly, eight I-section line posts at 1905 millimeters centers, King Block 190 millimeters plastic block-outs, and four lengths of Flexbeam G4 W-beam guardrail.

    The terminal ends and line post for both Test 3-10 and Test 3-11 longitudinal W-beam barrier tests were embedded in AASHTO M 147-65 "Standard" soil.

    Design details are provided as enclosure to this correspondence.

  2. Ingal EZY-Guard Heavy Duty W-beam longitudinal barrier system:

    This system consists of W-beam guardrail attached to EZY-Guard Heavy Duty Z-section line post via a guardrail carriage system and attachment bolt. The line posts were driven 1080 millimeters (42.5 inches) into AASHTO M147-65 Standard Soil at 2.0 meters (6.6 feet) centers. A total of 31 posts were installed giving a test installation  LON of 60.0 meters (197 feet). The finished nominal rail height of the system was 730 millimeters (28.7 inches), with all steel line posts finishing below the top of the rail at a height of 720 millimeters (28.3 inches). Each end of the length of need was terminated with an ET-2000 Plus Steel Yielding Terminal Post System, each with an installed length of 15.24 meters (50 feet). The overall test installation length was 90.8 meters (298 feet).

    The steel line posts were manufactured from Grade 300 steel fabricated into a "Z" section approximately 60 millimeters (2.5 inches) wide by 140 millimeters (5.5 inches) deep and 1800 millimeters (71 inches) long. All line posts were hot dip galvanized. A series of three tabs were formed proud into the front face of the post. The upper two tabs formed transversely across the tab face were placed above the resting position of the carriage. A cavity formed in the carriage allowed it to pass over the tabs without fouling. The third tab was offset on the face of the post and made sufficiently proud so as to form a resting stop for the guardrail carriage. The upper tab was 7.5 millimeters (0.3 inches) in thickness and located 17.5 millimeters (0.7 inches) from the top of the post. The middle tab had a thickness of 4 millimeters (0.2 inches) and was located 73 millimeters (2.9 inches) from the top of the post. A third tab was installed 185 millimeters (7.3 inches) from the top of the post and formed the resting stop for the guardrail carriage.

    The guardrail consisted of Ingal Flexbeam G4 W-beam guard rail sections with a 4.0 m (13 feet) net laying length (NLL). Flexbeam is a standard 12g galvanized Wbeam section conforming to AASHTO M-180 Class A.

    The guardrail carriages were manufactured from ductile iron and consisted of a 85 millimeters  × 55 millimeters × 60 millimeters (3.3 inches × 2.1 inches × 2.3 inches) thick section with a single M16 threaded hole. The guardrail carriages fitted over the flanges of the line posts and were seated on the third tab (lower tab) formed in the steel line posts. The threaded hole provided the mounting point for the guardrail via a proprietary M16 carriage bolt.

    Guardrail sections were joined together with standard M16 × 32 Galvanized mushroom head splice bolts and M16 oversize nuts. Guardrail sections were fixed to posts via the guardrail carriages, using a single proprietary M16 bolt with an oversize domed head.

    An ET-2000 Plus Steel Yielding Terminal Post System, tested and approved to NCHRP 350 TL-3, was installed at each end of the barrier LON. Each terminal end consisted of an extruder head assembly, eight I-section line posts at 1905 mm centers, King Block 190 mm plastic block-outs, and four lengths of Flexbeam G4 W-beam guardrail. The nominal finished installed height of the terminal ends was 730 millimeters (28 inches), directly matching the installed height of the guardrail system.

    The terminal ends and line post for both Test 3-10 and Test 3-11 longitudinal Wbeam barrier tests were embedded in AASHTO M 147-65 'Standard' soil.

    Design details are provided as enclosure to this correspondence.

Findings

  1. Ingal EZY-Guard W-beam longitudinal barrier system:

    The 820C test vehicle (test vehicle) impacted the installation 0.95 meters (3.1 feet) upstream of line post 11 at an angle of 20 degrees and a velocity of 101.7 kph. The Ingal W-beam barrier system, consisting of fifteen 4-meter (13.1 feet) lengths of Wbeam guardrail supported on thirty-one 5 lb/ft U-section steel posts and slider brackets installed at a 2.0 meter (6.5 feet)  spacing, successfully contained and redirected a 820C test vehicle impacting the test article at 20 degrees with a velocity of 101.7 kph. The majority of high tensile posts in the impact zone fractured upon collision with the vehicle. The larger detached post fragments were mainly scattered along the hazard side of the barrier installation, however a post fragment was observed on the traffic side of the barrier. This indicates that the trajectory of the fractured posts is uncontrolled and presents an undue risk to other traffic, pedestrians and work zone personnel. Minor penetration and deformation of the occupant compartment occurred as the result of a fractured post. Whilst the vehicle damage was within assessment limitations, the uncontrolled trajectory of the fractured posts presents an undue hazard to the vehicle occupants. The vehicle remained upright during and after the impact and vehicle stability was considered satisfactory. Occupant risk factors satisfied the test criteria and the vehicle exit trajectory remained within acceptable limits.

    Use of the 820C test vehicle during the re-write timeframe of NCHRP Report 350 update (i.e., MASH) was allowed in lieu of the 1100C small car. In this particular case, Holmes Solutions Crash Test Report 102350.03-4 dated May 2009 used a proper 820C test vehicle that met the NCHRP Report 350 criteria. In addition after a full review of the test report, there is no reason to believe the MASH 1100C test vehicle at the higher angle would fail this test.

    The 2270P test vehicle (test vehicle) impacted the Critical Impact Point (CIP) 1.48 meters (4.85 feet)  upstream of line post 11 at a velocity of 99.7 kph and an angle of 25 degrees before impacting on post 11 with the left front wheel causing the post to fracture at ground level. The Ingal W-beam barrier system, consisting of fifteen 4-metre lengths of Wbeam guardrail supported on thirty-one 5 lb/ft U-section steel posts and slider brackets installed at 2.0 spacing, successfully contained and redirected a 2270P test vehicle impacting the test article at 25 degrees with a velocity of 99.7 kph. The majority of high tensile posts in the impact zone fractured upon collision with the vehicle. The detached post fragments were scattered along the hazard side and traffic side of the barrier installation. This indicates that the trajectory of the fractured posts is uncontrolled and presents an undue risk to other traffic, pedestrians and work zone personnel. There were no deformations recorded in the occupant compartment and the vehicle remained upright during and after the impact. The vehicle trajectory behind the test article remained straight and stable.

    Testing Summary sheets are provided as enclosures to this correspondence.

  2. Ingal EZY-Guard Heavy Duty W-beam longitudinal barrier system:

    The Ingal EZY-Guard Heavy Duty W-beam barrier system when installed at a nominal height of 730 millimeters (28 inches), successfully contained and redirected a 1100C test vehicle impacting the test article at 24.9 degrees with a velocity of 101.8 kph. No debris or detached elements penetrated or showed potential to penetrate the occupant compartment. No fragments were distributed outside of the vehicle trajectory and therefore did not present any undue hazard to other traffic, pedestrians or work zone personnel. The vehicle remained upright during and after the impact and vehicle stability was considered satisfactory. Occupant risk factors satisfied the test criteria and the vehicle exit trajectory remained within acceptable limits.

    The Ingal EZY-Guard Heavy Duty W-beam barrier system when installed at a nominal height of 730 millimeters (28 inches) successfully contained and redirected a 2270P test vehicle impacting the test article at 25 degrees with a velocity of 99.0 kph. No debris or detached elements penetrated or showed potential to penetrate the occupant compartment. No fragments were distributed outside of the vehicle trajectory and therefore did not present any undue hazard to other traffic, pedestrians or work zone personnel. The vehicle remained upright during and after the impact and vehicle stability was considered satisfactory. Occupant risk factors satisfied the test criteria and the vehicle exit trajectory remained within acceptable limits. 

    Testing Summary sheets are provided as enclosures to this correspondence.

    Therefore, the systems described and detailed in this correspondence and the crash test reports are eligible for reimbursement and may be installed under the range of conditions tested.

Please note the following standard provisions that apply to FHWA eligibility letters:
 

Sincerely yours,

/* Signature of Michael S. Griffith */

Michael S. Griffith
Director, Office of Safety Technologies
Office of Safety

Enclosures

Page last modified on January 17, 2013.
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