Federal Highway Administration
400 Seventh St., S.W.
Washington, D.C. 20590
March 6, 2006
Refer to: HSA-10/WZ-226
Mr. Chase Gauger
7700 Austin Avenue
Skokie, Illinois 60077
Dear Mr. Gauger :
Thank you for your letter of December 7, 2005, requesting the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) acceptance of the addition of Alpolic signs to your company's Type II Plasticade and Fibercade barricades as crashworthy traffic control devices for use in work zones on the National Highway System (NHS). Accompanying your letter was a testimonial from Korman signs agreeing to the use of their crash test results to validate the performance of the sign/barricade combination. 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. Our new acceptance process was outlined in our memorandum "FHWA Hardware Acceptance Procedures – Category 2 Work Zone Devices" dated November 11, 2005.
Crash testing of your company's Plasticade and Fibercade Type II barricades was conducted by the Texas Transportation Institute in 1998. The two barricade designs were the subject of our acceptance letter WZ-14 dated May 28, 1999. The only windshield damage seen in three tests of the barricades was minor cracking at two contact points of the Plasticade Sign Stand, which was supporting a roll-up sign.
After reviewing the crash testing conducted on your company's Plasticade and Fibercade barricades, the Type II barricade sign stands of Korman Inc., and the discussion provided by Korman on the use of the Alpolic material on Type II barricades we concur in your request to use 48 x 48 inch Alpolic signs on these barricades. The Alpolic material has been tested in various orientations and, even with direct high-speed impacts on windshields, there is only moderate damage with little or no potential for occupant compartment intrusion.
The Plasticade and Fibercade Type II barricade sign supports 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. The Alpolic signs will be affixed to the top rail of the Plasticade and Fibercade barricades using bolts or pop rivets. Signs on the Plasticade will also be secured by the sign sleeve.
Please note the following standard provisions that apply to the FHWA letters of acceptance:
/Original Signed by/
John R. Baxter, P.E.
Director, Office of Safety Design
Office of Safety
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