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March 9, 2005

In Reply Refer To: HSA-10/CC-54G

Mr. Rodney A. Boyd
Trinity Industries
2525 Stemmons Freeway
Dallas, Texas 75207

Dear Mr. Boyd:

In their February 2 presentation to members of my staff, Mr. Brian Smith and your consultant Mr. James Albritton, discussed several modifications made to the original TRACC crash cushion and requested Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) acceptance of these specific design changes with your current TRACC family of crash cushions. Mr. Albritton's February 22 letter transmitted a final copy of the Texas Transportation Institute's (TTI) February 2005 report, entitled "NCHRP Report 350 Testing of the 2005 TRACC", and a videotape copy of the tests that were conducted.

The most significant design changes were the following:

To confirm that these design changes did not adversely affect crash performance, crash tests were conducted at TTI and described in the report noted above. Since changes to the impact sled/rip plate design should have no measurable effect on side-impact performance, tests 3-31 and 3-32 were selected as being the most critical and were conducted. However, to verify the continued redirection capability of the redesigned TRACC base, test 3-38 was also conducted. Enclosure 2 contains the summary sheets for all three tests.

Based on staff review of the design changes and certification test results, I consider the modified TRACC design as described above and shown in the enclosures acceptable for use on the National Highway System (NHS) as a substitute for any of the previously-accepted versions of the TRACC, the ShorTRACC and the WideTRACC, at the same test levels at which they were previously accepted.

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


Sincerely yours,

(Original Signed by)
John R. Baxter, P.E.
Director, Office of Safety Design
Office of Safety

2 Enclosures

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