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FHWA Home / Safety / Roadway Departure / Safety Eligibility Letter SS-173

Safety Eligibility Letter SS-173 - Safety

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U.S. Department of Transportation
Federal Highway Administration

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

August 18, 2011

In Reply Refer To:
HSST/SS-173

Mr. Gary Lamolinara
Special Lite Products Company, Inc.
1634 Latrobe-Derry Road
Loyalhanna, Pennsylvania 15661

Dear Mr. Lamolinara:

This letter is in response to your request for the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) acceptance of a generic aluminum pole for use on the National Highway System (NHS).

Name of system: Generic Aluminum Support Pole
Type of system: Breakaway Aluminum Support
Test Level: NCHRP Report 350 Test Level 3
Date of request: December 28, 2010
Request initially acknowledged: January 4, 2011

You requested that we find a 4-inch diameter aluminum pole with a 0.125-inch wall thickness acceptable for use on the NHS under the provisions of the National Cooperative Highway Research Program (NCHRP) Report 350 "Recommended Procedures for the Safety Performance Evaluation of Highway Features."

Requirements
Roadside safety devices should meet the guidelines contained in the National Cooperative Highway Research Program (NCHRP) Report 350 if tested prior to December 31, 2010, and the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials" (AASHTO) Manual for Assessing Safety Hardware (MASH) if tested after that date.  Requirements for breakaway supports are contained in both of these documents and in the AASHTO Standard Specifications for Structural Supports for Highway Signs, Luminaries, and Traffic Signals.

Decision
The following system was found acceptable, with details provided below:

Test Descriptions
There were no tests performed pursuant to this request for product acceptance.

Findings
As noted in your request, the FHWA has previously accepted a 6061-T6 aluminum alloy pole 4 inches in diameter, but with a greater wall thickness of 3/16-inches (Acceptance Letter SS-15, dated December 12, 1989).  Acceptance Letter SS-35, dated May 28, 1993, accepted 3-inch and 4-inch diameter poles of the same aluminum alloy and with wall thicknesses of 0.125 inches. Therefore, the pole you described in your December 27, 2010 letter is also considered crashworthy.  Therefore, the 6061-T6 aluminum pole with a 4-inch outside diameter and a 0.125-inch wall thickness remains acceptable for use on the NHS under the range of conditions originally tested, when such use is acceptable to a highway agency.

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

 

Sincerely yours,

/* Signature of Michael S. Griffith */

Michael S. Griffith
Director, Office of Safety Technologies
Office of Safety

Enclosures

Page last modified on December 17, 2013.
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Federal Highway Administration | 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE | Washington, DC 20590 | 202-366-4000