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Safety Eligibility Letter B-85F

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U.S. Department of Transportation
Federal Highway Administration

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

July 29, 2013

In Reply Refer To:

Mr. Don Gripne
Trinity Highway Products, LLC
2325 Stemmons Freeway
Dallas, Texas 75207

Dear Mr. Gripne,

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

Name of system: Thrie Beam Guardrail with King Size King Block
Type of system: Semi Rigid Steel Beam Roadside Barrier
Test Level: NCHRP Report 350 Test Level 3
Testing conducted by: N/A
Task Force 13 Designator: N/A
Date of request: May 15, 2013

The following device is eligible, with details provided in the form which is attached as an integral part of this letter:

Based on a review of crash test results submitted by the manufacturer certifying the device described herein meets the crash test and evaluation criteria of the National Cooperative Highway Research Program (NCHRP) Report 350, 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.

To be found eligible for Federal-aid funding, roadside safety devices should meet the crash test and evaluation criteria contained in the NCHRP Report 350 or the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials’ Manual for Assessing Safety Hardware (MASH).

The device and supporting documentation are described in the attached form.  This modification allows the use of the 70% HDPE material in the King Size King Block. This material was previously crash tested with w-beam guardrail.

Summary and Standard Provisions
Therefore, the system described and detailed in the attached form is eligible for reimbursement and may be installed under the range of conditions that standard Thrie Beam guardrail was crash-tested under NCHRP Report 350.  

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


Request for Federal Aid Reimbursement Eligibility
Of Highway Safety Hardware

Submitter Date of Request: June 19, 2013   Selected Radio Button New   Unselected Radio Button  Resubmission
Name: Don Gripne Signature: /s/ Don Gripne
Company: Trinity Highway Product, LLC
Address: 5216 Brassfield Dr. SE, Olympia, WA 98501
Country: USA
To: Michael S. Griffith, Director
FHWA, Office of Safety Technologies

I request the following devices be considered eligible for reimbursement under the Federal-aid highway program.

System Type Submission Type Device Name/Variant Testing Criterion Test Level
'B': Barriers (Roadside, Median, Bridge Railings) Seleted Radio Button Physical Crash Testing
Radio Button FEA & V&V Analysis

By submitting this request for review and evaluation by the Federal Highway Administration, I certify that the product(s) was (were) tested in conformity with the NCHRP Report 350 (Report 350) and that the evaluation results meet the appropriate evaluation criteria in the Report 350.

Identification of the individual or organization responsible for the product:

Contact Name: Brian Smith Same as Submitter ☐
Company Name: Trinity Highway Products, LLC Same as Submitter ☐
Address: 2525 Stemmons Freeway, Dallas, TX 75207 Same as Submitter ☐
Country: USA Same as Submitter ☐


Modification to Existing Hardware Non-Significant – Effect is positive or Inconsequential

The Thrie Beam King Block (known as the King Size King Block or King King Block) had an FHWA letter, CC-85C issued on January 13,2003. This letter was issued based on Pendulum Test KB-110 by Southwest Research. The Test Report is dated December 12, 2002. The title is: Impact Evaluation of A Recycled Plastic/Rubber Composite Blockout. The composition of the recycled material for the block consisted of 52% of high density polyethylene (HPDE) and 45% Ground Rubber. Letter B-85 E dated May 8, 2007 was issued based on a full scale crash test for the King Block with 70% HOPE. This test was conducted by SwRI. The report is NCHRP Report 350 Test 3-11 Full-Scale Crash Evaluation of a G4-1 S Guardrail with Modified King-block Blockouts. The Test No. is SwRI X06, SwRI Project No 18.12886 dated December 18, 2006.

The King Block used with W-beam guardrail has had several changes to the composition since it was first tested. Letter B-85 was issued based on a pickup test. The composition was 67% HPDE and 30% Ground Rubber. Letter B-85A was issued on July 10,2001 based on a Pendulum Test. The composition was changed to 52% HOPE and 45% Ground Rubber.

FHWA letter B-850 was issued for a composition changed based on a Pendulum Test. The Composition was changed from 68.5% and 30% Ground Rubber.

FHWA letter B-8SE dated May 8, 2007 was issued based on a full scale crash test with a composition material of 70% HOPE, 28.7% Ground Rubber, 0.3% Blowing Agent, and 1% Color Concentrate.

This request is for acceptance of the Thrie Beam King Block with the composition that is the same that is used with the King Block for W-Beam. This composition would be 70% HOPE, 28.7% Ground Rubber, 0.3% Blowing Agent, and 1% Color Concentrate. The shape and configuration of the Thrie Beam King Block will continue to be the same as in FHWA letter CC-8SC. The depth can also be increased to 12" for the MGS Transition or other systems requiring a 12" deep thrie beam block.

This modification is considered Non-significant, Effect is Positive or Inconsequential.


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A brief description of each crash test and its result:


Required Test Number Narrative Description Evaluation Results
3-10 (820C) N/A  
3-11 (2000P)

The tet vehicle impacted the longitudinal barrier 1.30 m (4.25 ft) downstream of post 10 at 23.4 degrees, and laterally deflected the barrier 1.04 m (3.4 ft) (dynamically). Impact velocity of the test vehicle was measured using high-speed film analysis, and was determined to be 1 07.9 km/hr (67.0 mph).

Report 350 states that the recommended impact severity for Test 3-11 is 139. KJ (-1 0.8 kJ/+ 11.3 kJ). The actual impact severity of test X06 was 247.2 kJ, a deviation of +9.1 kJ from the nominal impact severity recommended in NCHRP Report 350.

Given the impact severity of 147.2 kkJ, the equivalent impact speed of a 2000 kg vehicle impacting the longitudinal barrier at exactly 25 degrees would be 103.3 km/hr (64.2 mph).

3-20 (820C) N/A  

Full Scale Crash Testing was done in compliance with MASH by the following accredited crash test laboratory (cite the laboratory's accreditation status as noted in the crash test reports.):

Laboratory Name: Southwest Research Institute
Laboratory Contact: Oliver Harrison Same as Submitter ☐
Address: 6220 Culebra Road
San Antonio, TX 78238
Same as Submitter ☐
Country: USA Same as Submitter ☐
Accreditation Certificate
Number and Date:
ISO 17025
1110.02 March 31,2014


Attach to this form:

  1. 1) A copy of the full test report, video, and a Test Data Summary Sheet for each test conducted in support of this request.
  2. 2) A drawing or drawings of the device(s) that conform to the Task Force-13 Drawing Specifications [Hardware Guide Drawing Standards]. For proprietary products, a single isometric line drawing is usually acceptable to illustrate the product, with detailed specifications, intended use, and contact information provided on the reverse. Additional drawings (not in TF-13 format) showing details that are key to understanding the performance of the device should also be submitted to facilitate our review.

FHWA Official Business Only:

Eligibility Letter AASHTO TF13 Key Words
Number Date Designator
B-85F July 29, 2013 None Thrie Beam Blackout Recycled Materials
Page last modified on June 24, 2011.
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