December 11, 2003
refer to: hsa-10/b-34f
David E. Wasserstrom
Traffic Safety Devices, Inc.
Post Office Box 26716
Elkins Park, PA 19027
Dear Mr. Wasserstrom:
In your October 30 letter to Mr. Richard Powers of my staff, you requested
Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) acceptance of a modification to the
ROADGUARD Highway Assembly previously accepted by Mr. Dwight A. Horne in his
August 5, 1998 letter to you (B-34C). This modification eliminated the single-piece
5/16-inch thick by 2-1/2-inch wide steel straps used to support both 2-inch
diameter Schedule 40 steel pipes and attach them through the sides of the
barrier. Instead, the upper and lower pipes are now attached independently
through the plastic barrier using one-inch diameter bolts through angled steel
brackets 3/8-inch thick by 2-inches wide welded to the pipes. The upper bolt
is 12-inches long. The lower one is 21.5-inches long and has a 25-degree
bend at its midpoint. The connection of the pipe rails at the joints is identical
to the previously accepted design, as are the overall dimensions of the plastic
barrier segments. Details of the modified design are shown as an enclosure
to this letter.
Because the only significant difference from your current ROADGUARD design
is the method of attaching the pipes to the barrier, the modified design can
be considered equivalent and may be used on the National Highway System (NHS)
as an National Cooperative Highway Research Program Report (NCHRP) 350 test
level 3 traffic barrier. However, since this attachment detail has not been
crash tested, I recommend that an informal in-service evaluation be conducted
to verify satisfactory field performance. Chapter 7 of NCHRP Report 350 outlines
the requirements for an appropriate in-service evaluation of roadside hardware.
Please note that the following standard provisions apply to this letter of
- The FHWA acceptance is limited to the assumed crashworthiness characteristics
of the device and does not cover other structural features, durability, or
conformity with the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices.
- Any future design changes to the ROADGUARD or any of its derivatives will
require full scale crash testing before any new FHWA acceptance letter will
- Should FHWA discover that an in-service performance evaluation reveals unacceptable
safety problems, or that the device being marketed is significantly different
from the version that was accepted for use on the NHS, it reserves the right
to modify or revoke its acceptance.
- You will be expected to supply potential users with sufficient information
on design and installation requirements to ensure proper performance.
- You will be expected to certify to potential users that the hardware furnished
has essentially the same chemistry, mechanical properties, and geometry as
that submitted for acceptance.
- To prevent misunderstanding by others, this letter of acceptance shall
not be reproduced except in full. This letter is considered public information.
All such letters and any documentation upon which it was based may be reviewed
at our office upon request.
- The ROADGUARD is considered proprietary. If proprietary devices are specified
for use on Federal-aid projects, except exempt, non-NHS projects, they: (a)
must be supplied through competitive bidding with equally suitable unpatented
items; (b) the highway agency must certify that they are essential for synchronization
with existing highway facilities or that no equally suitable alternative exists
or; (c) they must be used for research or for a distinctive type of construction
on relatively short sections of road for experimental purposes. Our regulations
concerning proprietary products are contained in Title 23, Code of Federal
Regulations, Section 635.411.
- This acceptance letter shall not be construed as authorization or consent
by the FHWA to use, manufacture, or sell any patented device for which the
applicant is not the patent owner. The FHWA acceptance is limited to the
crashworthiness characteristics of the candidate device, and this office is
neither prepared nor required to resolve issues concerning patent law. Please
note that FHWA reserves the right to withdraw an acceptance letter if the
applicant's submission is later shown to misrepresent the issue, either intentionally
or unintentionally, or contains errors of fact or omission.
As noted in the title block on the enclosed drawing, you now wish to call
the pipe assembly a "safety assembly" rather than a "highway assembly". Regardless
of the nomenclature, the ROADGUARD units alone are not acceptable for use
on the NHS as barriers, barricades, or delineators unless they have been successfully
crash tested without the pipes.
/Original signed by/
John R. Baxter, P.E.
Director, Office of Safety Design
Office of Safety
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