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FHWA Home / Safety / Roadway Departure / Safety Eligibility Letter

Safety Eligibility Letter CC-115

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U.S. Department of Transportation
Federal Highway Administration

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

November 12, 2015

In Reply Refer To: HSST/CC-115

Mr. Brian Smith
Trinity Highway Products, LLC
2525 North Stemmons Freeway
Dallas, Texas  75207

Dear Mr. Smith:

This letter updates eligibility letter CC-115 issued on December 19, 2011 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: Trinity SOFT-STOP Terminal
Type of system: W-Beam Guardrail Terminal
Test Level: MASH Test Level 3 (TL-3)
Testing conducted by: Texas Transportation Institute
Task Force 13 Designator: SEW22
Date of request: September 3, 2010
Date initially acknowledged:  September 30, 2010
Date of completed package: September 3, 2010

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 (AASHTO) “Manual for Assessing Safety Hardware” (MASH), the device is eligible for reimbursement under the Federal-aid highway program. MASH states “Although not a specific factor in assessing test results, integrity of a test vehicle’s fuel tank is a potential concern. It is preferable that the fuel tank remains intact and not be punctured. Damage to or rupture of the fuel tank, oil pan, or other feature that might serve as a surrogate of the fuel tank should be reported.” One test report that accompanied the request for Federal-aid reimbursement eligibility (titled MASH TEST 3-31 on the Vertically Loading Terminal) indicated “A small cut was noted in the fuel tank.” A second test report that accompanied the request (titled MASH TEST 3-35 on the Vertically Loading Terminal) indicated “there was a very small puncture in the gas tank.” Eligibility for reimbursement under the Federal-aid highway program does not establish approval or endorsement by 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

Decision:
The following device was found eligible, with details provided below:

Requirements
Roadside safety devices should meet the guidelines contained in the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials’ Manual for Assessing Safety Hardware. The FHWA memorandum “Identifying Acceptable Highway Safety Features” of July 25, 1997, and the FHWA/AASHTO MASH Implementation Plan provide further guidance on roadside hardware design.

Description and Crash Testing
Your letter of September 3, 2010, enclosed for reference, describes the Trinity SOFT-STOP in detail. Your letter also detailed the crash test matrix that was evaluated for the device. The MASH tests 3-30, 3-31, 3-32, 3-33, 3-34, 3-35, and 3-37) were conducted in reasonably close conformity with the guidelines. The test data summary sheets from the individual crash test reports are enclosed for reference.

We concur that MASH test 3-36 may be waived because the SOFT-STOP will not be connected to any stiffer device than W-beam guardrail, and test 3-35 showed that the performance of the system when impacted at an angle by the 2270P was satisfactory. We concur that the substitution of the 1100C vehicle to evaluate the reverse direction impact was appropriate. We concur that test 3-38 is not necessary because the SOFT-STOP is not a staged device and that your calculations predict crashworthy performance with the 1500A vehicle.

Findings
Therefore, the system described and detailed in the enclosed letter is eligible for reimbursement and should be installed under the range of conditions tested, when such use is acceptable to a highway agency.

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 November 5, 2015.
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