Federal Highway Administration
400 Seventh St., S.W.
May 8, 2007
In Reply Refer To: HSSD/CC-87C
Mr. Barry D. Stephens, P.E.
Sr. Vice President Engineering
Energy Absorption Systems, Inc.
3617 Cincinnati Avenue
Rocklin, CA 95765
Dear Mr. Stephens:
Thank you for your letter dated January 26, 2007, requesting the Federal Highway Administration’s (FHWA) review and acceptance of a new high speed version of your QUEST 70/100 redirective, non-gating crash cushions called the QUEST 115 System. To support your request, you supplied a NCHRP 350 compliance report prepared by E-TECH Testing Services, Inc. that describes the QUEST 115 and documents the successful results of a 2000 kg pickup truck impacting the system head-on at a speed of 113.7 km/h (70.7 mph). The QUEST crash cushion was originally found acceptable in the FHWA acceptance letter CC-87 dated February 15, 2005.
Although the NCHRP Report 350 testing guidelines do not include impact speed over 100 km/h, your QUEST 115 System met all the evaluation criteria for a test level 3 (TL-3) (100 km/h) crash at the higher impact speed of 113.7 km/h (70.7 mph) and the test vehicle was stopped in a distance of 7.2 m (23’ 8”) with minimal roll, pitch, or yaw. The occupant impact velocity from this test was 8.9 m/s and the subsequent ride-down g levels were -14.7. Both of these values were below the NCHRP Report 350 preferred values of 9 m/s and 15 g’s respectively.
Based on our review of the information you provided, we conclude that the QUEST 115 System, as tested, has demonstrated additional capacity for the pickup truck in head-on crashes at an impact speed in excess of 113 km/h (70 mph). Your QUEST 115 System also remains an acceptable NCHRP 350 TL-3 (100 km/h) redirecting, non-gating crash cushion with nominal backup widths ranging from 610 mm to 915 mm (24 to 36 inches) for both uni- and bi-directional traffic applications when anchored to either concrete or asphalt and appropriately transitioned with the specified transitions. Since the selection of cost-effective safety devices for installation along a public road remains the prerogative of the appropriate highway authority, this letter should not be interpreted as tacit encouragement to use, nor as discouragement against using, roadside hardware that exceeds currently accepted minimum performance requirements.
Please note the following standard provisions that apply to FHWA letters of acceptance:
George E. Rice, Jr.
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