Skip to contentUnited States Department of Transportation - Federal Highway Administration FHWA HomeFeedback

February 21, 2001

Refer to HSA-1/SS-78A

Mr. Frank T. Ellis
SMI Steel- Southern Post
1540 Pine Ridge Drive
West Columbia, SC 29172

Dear Mr. Ellis:

Thank you for your January 25 letter to Mr. Henry Rentz requesting Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) acceptance of your company’s 2#, 2.5#, and 3# flanged channel posts as breakaway sign supports for use on the National Highway System (NHS). You requested that we find posts of both re-rolled rail steel or new billet steel as specified in FHWA Notice T 5040.00, dated September 27, 1983, as acceptable for use on the NHS under the provisions of National Cooperative Highway Research Program (NCHRP) Report 350 "Recommended Procedures for the Safety Performance Evaluation of Highway Features."

On February 3, 1998, we found your 2# and 2.5# posts of re-rolled rail steel acceptable in certain configurations via Acceptance Letter SS-78. Your current request is to add the 3# size, and to use new billet steel meeting the above referenced specification for all three-post sizes.

Because the requested new posts conform to dimensions and specifications of post that have previously been found crashworthy, and the use of the new posts will be limited to the same configurations as contained in Acceptance Letter SS-78, we find them also acceptable for use on the NHS, when requested by a State.

Please note the following standard provisions that apply to Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) letters of acceptance:

                    Our acceptance is limited to the crashworthiness characteristics of the devices and does not cover their structural features, nor conformity with the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices.

                    Any changes that may adversely influence the crashworthiness of the device will require a new acceptance letter.

                    Should the FHWA discover that the qualification testing was flawed, that in-service performance reveals unacceptable safety problems, or that the device being marketed is significantly different form the version that was crash tested, it reserved the right to modify or revoke its acceptance.

                    You will be expected to supply potential users with sufficient information on design and installation requirements to ensure proper performance.

                    You will be expected to certify potential users that the hardware furnished has essentially the same chemistry, mechanical properties, and geometry as that submitted for acceptance, and that they will meet the crashworthiness requirements of FHWA and NCHRP Report 350.

                    To prevent misunderstanding by others, this letter of acceptance, designated as number SS-94 shall not be reproduced except in full. As this letter and the supporting documentation which support it become public information, it will be available for inspection at our office by interested parties.

                    All conditions and limitations in Acceptance Letter SS-78 continue to apply, with the understanding that the new posts are also included.

Sincerely yours,

Frederick G. Wright, Jr.
Program Manager, Safety

FHWA Safety Home | FHWA Home | Feedback
United States Department of Transportation - Federal Highway Administration