July 16, 2004

Refer to: HSA-10/WZ-185

Mr. John I. Lund
Chief Engineer
Cortina Safety Products Group
10706 West Grand Avenue
Franklin Park, Illinois 60131

Dear Mr. Lund:

Thank you for your letter of March 29, 2004, requesting Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) acceptance of your company's M-Cade Plastic Type I and Type II Barricades as crashworthy traffic control devices for use in work zones on the National Highway System (NHS). Accompanying your letter were films of informal bogie crash testing conducted by the Midwest Roadside Safety Facility (MwRSF). 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."

Introduction
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:

Type I and Type II Barricades
The M-Cade family of barricades uses plastic waffleboard panels. The 12x24 panel is 610x308 mm x 19.05 mm thick. The thickness steps down to 11.43 mm at each end. The panel faces are 3.00 mm thick and the ribs vary from 2.50 to 3.00 mm thick. The mass of the 12x24 panel is 0.80 kg. The 8x24 panel is similar with dimensions of 610x210 mm and a mass of 0.55 kg. The "Sand Bar" is 610x83 mm with a mass of 0.25 kg.

The legs are molded in an "H" cross section and measure 46x61 mm with length either 1118 mm or 1524 mm having masses of 0.76 kg and 0.99 kg respectively. The legs are held together at the pivot point without fasteners by the unique interlocking configuration of the components. An optional 12.7 mm plastic push pin may be used to hold the alignment of the open barricade.

Each panel is factory attached to a pair of legs with 6.35 mm steel/aluminum rivets. The steel center shank of the rivets is 3.80 mm which is slightly less than the 4.15 mm root diameter of the threads used in the - 20 bolts on the original crash tested barricade cited in the FHWA acceptance letter WZ-6. Individual components are also provided for field assembly. You requested that the M-Cade Type I and II barricades, whether assembled in the factory or field, be acceptable with a lightweight warning light (1.5 kg or less).

Following are the tables you provided which list the details of the various barricades for which you requested acceptance.

Table 1 Specifications of Cortina M-Cade Barricades

Product
Number
Top
Panel
Bottom
Panel
Top
Sheeting
Bottom
Sheeting
Sand
Bar
Mass,
Plain
Mass,
w/ Light
Type I M-Cades Represented in Test Run No. 1 and 2
97-11-001-11 12" 8" Prismatic w/ Arrow None Optional 7.0 kg 8.5 kg
97-11-001-44 12" 8" EGR Sheeting None Optional 7.0 kg 8.5 kg
97-11-001-45 12" 8" Hi-Intensity None Optional 7.0 kg 8.5 kg
97-11-001-46 12" 8" SEG Sheeting None Optional 7.0 kg 8.5 kg
Type II M-Cades Represented in Test Run No. 1 and 2
97-11-002-11 8" 8" Prismatic w/ Arrow EGR Sheeting Optional 6.6 kg 8.1 kg
97-11-002-44 8" 8" EGR Sheeting EGR Sheeting Optional 6.6 kg 8.1 kg
97-11-002-45 8" 8" Hi-Intensity Hi-Intensity Optional 6.6 kg 8.1 kg
97-11-002-46 8" 8" SEG Sheeting SEG Sheeting Optional 6.6 kg 8.1 kg
Type II Barrel Eliminator M-Cades Represented in Test Run No. 1 and 2
97-11-003 12" 8" EGR Sheeting Plain Optional 7.1 kg 8.6 kg
97-11-003-11 12" 8" Prismatic w/ Arrow EGR Sheeting Optional 7.1 kg 8.6 kg
97-11-003-44 12" 8" EGR Sheeting EGR Sheeting Optional 7.1 kg 8.6 kg
97-11-003-45 12" 8" Hi-Intensity Hi-Intensity Optional 7.1 kg 8.6 kg
97-11-003-46 12" 8" SEG Sheeting SEG Sheeting Optional 7.1 kg 8.6 kg
Type I Excavator M-Cades Represented in Test Run No. 3 and 4
97-11-001-60 12" 8" EGR Sheeting None Yes 8.0 kg **
97-11-001-61 12" 8" Hi-Intensity None Yes 8.0 kg **
97-11-001-62 12" 8" EGR Sheeting Plain Yes 8.0 kg **
Type II Excavator M-Cades Represented in Test Run No. 3 and 4
97-11-002-60 8" 8" EGR Sheeting EGR Sheeting Yes 7.6 kg **
97-11-002-61 8" 8" Hi-Intensity Hi-Intensity Yes 7.6 kg **
97-11-002-62 8" 8" EGR Sheeting Plain Yes 7.6 kg **
Individual Components for field assembly of Type I and Type II Barricades
97-1100 Modular Barricade Leg, 44" 0.75 kg
97-1200 Modular Barricade Leg, 60" 0.99 kg
97-1400 Modular Sand Bar, 3" x 24" 0.25 kg
97-1500 Modular Panel, 8" x 24", No Sheeting 0.55 kg
97-1600 Modular Panel, 12" x 24", No Sheeting 0.80 kg
** Additional testing of the Excavator devices with lights is planned.

Plastic Resin
The molded components (panels and legs) are molded from Sunoco TI-4230G-5 copolymer polypropylene resin, or from equivalent material obtained from another plastic compounder. 100 percent virgin resin is used except for the reground runners and sprues. The UV stabilizers are added in advance by the plastic compounder. The amount of regrind is held to 10 percent or lower for these parts. This material (or its equivalent) was used in the molding of your PlastX Barricades, which have been found acceptable for use in WZ-47 and WZ-17.

Testing
The MwRSF conducted "research and development" style tests of your company's cones using a hard-nosed bogie vehicle of a mass larger than the standard 820C test vehicle. There are significant constraints involved in using such a non-standard testing device, some of which are:

1. The potential vehicle velocity change must be considered insignificant.
2. The crush characteristics of an automobile bumper must not be expected to have a significant affect on the trajectory of the test article.
3. The profile of the bogie vehicle must be configured to replicate the outline of a production vehicle. The MwRSF bogie was configured to replicate the outline of a Geo Metro, a vehicle commonly used in testing of work zone devices.
4. No part of the test article may intrude into the windshield area of the vehicle after impact.

In these tests it was clear that the "M-Cade" and "Excavator M-Cade " barricades would meet our crashworthiness criteria. In addition, the M-Cade barricades (with 44 inch long legs) with warning lights would have met our criteria. We understand you are considering full-scale automobile crash testing of your Excavator M-Cades (with 60inch long legs) to verify their performance with lights.

Findings
The results of the informal testing met the FHWA requirements and, therefore, the devices described in the tables above and detailed in the enclosed drawings 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 the FHWA letters of acceptance:

 

Sincerely yours,

/Original Signed by/

John R. Baxter, P.E.
Director, Office of Safety Design
Office of Safety