Refer to: HSA-1\SS-92
Ms. Elke Tremmel
40 Green Island Way
Destin, FL 32541
Dear Ms. Tremmel:
This is in response to your letter of September 18, 2000, regarding National Cooperative Highway Research Program (NCHRP) Report 350 acceptance of your company's Tremex delineator posts. We received additional information via facsimile on October 10, 2000, and subsequently received a sample of the delineator. The Tremex delineator system consists of a blow-molded polyethylene post of a roughly round cross section as seen in the enclosed drawing for reference. The posts are deformed near the top to receive reflectors. The 1200 mm long posts are installed by inserting the bottom 150 mm into any of a number of foundation structures designed for their particular shape. The posts are not mechanically fixed into the foundations and therefore are free to move when struck by an errant vehicle.
In the past, roadside delineators, and work zone cones, vertical panels, and channelizing devices were not subjected to the rigors of crash testing, because it was thought that they would be far less hazardous than the typical breakaway signpost. Indeed, most early delineator posts were short, lightweight versions of crashworthy flanged-channel sign posts. In the last few years three plastic delineator post manufacturers have requested Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) acceptance of their posts. In all cases, video tapes of automobile testing were submitted. The testing was conducted to show the resilience of the post and was not intended to show full compliance with NCHRP 350. It was obvious to us that these posts posed little hazard to an errant vehicle.
The video of the informal low-speed testing that you submitted shows results similar to those observed when testing other such delineator posts. Because of the design of Tremex delineator posts, the posts are easily released from their bases and are knocked aside by the impacting vehicle. Change in vehicle velocity, as seen on your demonstration video, appears to be negligible. Because of the obviously benign nature of Tremex delineator posts, we feel that they would easily meet our requirements if crash tested according to NCHRP 350.
Therefore, your company's Tremex delineator posts are acceptable for use on the National Highway System (NHS), if requested by a State.
Please note the following standard provisions which apply to 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 in-service performance reveals unacceptable safety problems, or that the device being marketed is significantly different from the version that was submitted for acceptance, it reserves 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 to 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-92 shall not be reproduced except in full.
• The steel bases, if not manufactured in the United States, may be subject to “Buy America” requirements on Federal-aid highway contracts. These restrictions are detailed in
23 CFR 635.410, a copy of which is enclosed for your information.
* Tremex delineators are patented and are considered "proprietary." If proprietary devices are specified for use on Federal-aid projects, except exempt, non-NHS projects, they:
(a) must be supplied through competitive bidding with equally suitable unpatented items; (b) the highway agency must certify that they are essential for synchronization with existing highway facilities or that no equally suitable alternative exists or; (c) they must be used for research or for a distinctive type of construction on relatively short sections of road for experimental purposes. Our regulations concerning proprietary products are contained in Title 23, Code of Federal Regulations, Section 635.411, a copy of which is enclosed.