March 25, 2004
Refer to: HSA-10/WZ-176
Ms. Sue Reiss
Regional Manager, Impact Recovery Systems
P.O. Box 12637
246 West Josephine Street
San Antonio, Texas 78212
Dear Ms. Reiss:
Thank you for your letter of January 5, 2004, requesting Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) acceptance of your company's vertical panel and directional indicator barricade with the Empco-Lite Y2K light as crashworthy traffic control devices for use in work zones on the National Highway System (NHS). You requested that we find these devices 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." These devices were originally accepted in our Acceptance Letter WZ-140, dated February 28, 2003.
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 are those lightweight devices which are to be self-certified by the vendor, Category II devices are other lightweight devices which need individual crash testing but with reduced instrumentation, Category III devices are barriers and other fixed or heavy devices also needing crash testing with normal instrumentation, and Category IV devices are trailer mounted lighted signs, arrow panels, etc., for which crash testing requirements have not yet been established. 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.
A brief description of the devices follows:
Test Article 1: 12 inch x 48-inch Double sided Vertical Panel with #103QR Portable One Base and Light. The Portable One Base is solid recycled rubber measuring 355 mm (14 inches) wide by 864 mm (34 inches) long and weighing 22 kg (48 pounds). The vertical panel consists of a 60.3 mm (2 3/8 inch) diameter, 1220 mm tall (48 inch) polyethylene plastic tube. To the front and back of the tube are attached 305 mm (12 inch) by 1220 mm (48 inch) tall vertical panels. They are attached to the tube using standard grade 3/8 inch x 2 ¾ inch carriage bolts with tee nuts and plastic washers.
Test Article 2: 24 inch x 36 inch Directional Indicator Barricade with 103QR Portable One base and Light. The Portable One Base is as described above. The Directional Indicator Barricade also consists of a polyethylene tube as described above except at a height of 890 mm (35 inches.) To it is attached a single 610 mm (24 inch) tall by 914 mm (36 inch) wide directional panel.
Full-scale automobile testing was conducted on your company' devices, which was documented in WZ-140. Your present request is specifically to permit the Empco-Lite Y2K warning light to be used on these barricades. As the performance of the Empco-Lite Y2K warning light is comparable to that of the omni-directional light used in the original crash tests, the Y2K light is 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:
(Original Signed by ----)
John R. Baxter, P.E.
Director, Office of Safety Design
Office of Safety