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

DOT logo
U.S. Department of Transportation

Federal Highway Administration

400 Seventh St., S.W.
Washington, D.C. 20590


March 4, 2005

Refer to: HSA-10/WZ-202

Mr. Jason Peck
National Sales and Marketing Manager
Remcon Plastics, Inc.
208 Chestnut Street
Reading, Pennsylvania 19602-0809

Dear Mr. Peck:

Thank you for your letter of January 4 requesting Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) acceptance of your company's 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 reports of crash testing conducted by E-TECH Testing Services and video of the tests. 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."


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:

The all plastic A-frame type barricade is constructed from unique modular components that can be assembled to form multiple barricade types. The design incorporates an interchangeable reflective panel system that can be changed in the field. All components are made from foamed polyethylene plastic. The top panel will accept an insert measuring a nominal 300 mm x 600 mm and the bottom panel will accept a 200 mm x 300 mm insert. The height of the top panel is 900 mm above ground level. The barricade upright support legs are a nominal 1118 mm wide and 38 mm thick. A 12.7 mm diameter 31.75 mm long stainless carriage bolt with Nylock stainless nut and washer holds the uprights together. The top of the uprights are formed with a receptacle which can attach to a standard warning light. A C&C Signals Type A LED warning light was included in testing. The test article mass was 10.5 kg including the 1.5 kg warning light.


Full-scale automobile testing was conducted on your company' devices. Two stand-alone examples of the device were tested in tandem, one head-on and the next placed six meters downstream turned at 90 degrees, as called for in our guidance memoranda.

The tests are summarized in the table below.

Test Number

56-6331-001, NCHRP Report 350 Test 3-71

Barricade Stand Orientation

Head on

90 degrees

Weight of Tested Stand

10.5 kg

10.5 kg

Flags? Lights?

One 1.5 kg light

One 1.5 kg light

Mass of Test Vehicle

834 kg

Impact Speed

99.0 km/hr

98.3 km/hr

Velocity Change

0.2 m/sec

Extent of contact

Bumper, grille, hood deformation, windshield struck

Windshield Damage

300 mm diameter area of cracking

Other notes

55 mm of deformation, but no holes in windshield


Damage was limited to cosmetic damage to the bumper, grille, and hood, and moderate cracking to the windshield. There were no holes in the glass, but the windshield deformed 55 mm. This slightly exceeds the desirable limit of 50 mm, but is within the FHWA maximum acceptable 75 mm range of deformation. Therefore, this barricade is considered "acceptable, but marginal." The barricade may be used as either a Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD) Type II as tested, or/and the MUTCD Type I when only the top rail carries the proper retroreflective striping material.

The results of the testing met the FHWA requirements and, therefore, the devices described 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


Safety Home | FHWA Home | Feedback