Refer to: HSA-10/WZ-155

Mr. Nick Calvi
Western Highway Products, Inc.
Ulti-Mate Sign Post Division
P.O. Box 7
Stanton, California 90680

Dear Mr. Calvi:

This is in response to your letter of March 24, 2003, requesting Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) acceptance of your company's perforated square steel tube (PSST) posts as framing elements of crashworthy Type III Barricades for use in work zones on the National Highway System (NHS). Accompanying your letter were drawings of accepted barricades from the states of Texas and Pennsylvania, as well as your own drawings of the devices. You requested that we find barricades using your company's posts 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."

The FHWA guidance on crash testing of work zone traffic control devices is contained in two memoranda. The first, dated July 25, 1997, titled "INFORMATION: Identifying Acceptable Highway Safety Features," established four categories of work zone devices: Category I devices were those lightweight devices which could be self-certified by the vendor, Category II devices were other lightweight devices which needed individual crash testing, Category III devices were barriers and other fixed or massive devices also needing crash testing, and Category IV devices were trailer mounted lighted signs, arrow panels, etc. The second guidance memorandum was issued on August 28, 1998, and is titled "INFORMATION: Crash Tested Work Zone Traffic Control Devices." This later memorandum lists devices that are acceptable under Categories I, II, and III.

Testing has been completed on numerous Type III Barricades framed with PSST. You specifically requested that your product be considered interchangeable with the framing elements used in the barricades covered in the following FHWA letters of acceptance:

WZ-3 dated August 28, 1998, (generic barricades tested for Texas Department of Transporation ((DOT)).
WZ-40, dated June 6, 2000 (generic barricade tested with sign mounted above*)
WZ-44, dated July 25, 2000 (generic barricade tested for PennDOT with sign mounted above*)
* Barricades may be used with or without the sign and supporting structure.

The Ulti-Mate Square Steel Tubes with 12 gage walls may be used in these barricades which use 2.0 inch square skids and 1.75 inch square uprights. The Ulti-Mate steel tubes are fabricated from ASTM A653-94 Structural Quality, Grade 40 steel, which conforms to the steel used in the tested barricades. The striped rails may be extruded plastic (typically HDPE) or wood. Please note that plastic and plywood rails may be used up to 8 feet long, while rails of 1" cut lumber may not exceed 4 feet long.

Because Ulti-Mate perforated square steel tubes replicate the material used in the crash tested devices, Type III barricades described in FHWA acceptance letters referenced above are acceptable for use on the NHS under the range of conditions tested, when proposed by a State.

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

Sincerely yours,

Michael S. Griffith
Acting Director, Office of Safety Design
Office of Safety