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U.S. Department of Transportation

Federal Highway Administration

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

April 13, 2006

Refer to: HSA-10/WZ-233

Mr. Chuck Mettler, R&D/QC
Plastic Safety Systems, Inc.
2444 Baldwin Road
Cleveland, Ohio 44104

Dear Mr. Mettler :

Thank you for your email correspondence of December 9, 2005, requesting the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) acceptance of the addition of lightweight warning lights to your company's Type III Barricades. You requested that we find these modified devices acceptable for use on the National Highway System (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.

Plastic Safety Systems Type III barricades were found acceptable in the following FHWA acceptance letters:

Past crash testing of generic and proprietary Type III barricades have shown that lightweight warning lights (approximately 1.5 kg or less) pose little risk of injury to vehicle occupants. Indeed, in our acceptance letter WZ-85 we accepted the use of lightweight warning lights to previously accepted Type III steel framed barricades. Your own tests have shown that the PSS plastic framed barricades performed in an acceptable manner when using lightweight lights. Therefore, the Type III Barricades in the FHWA acceptance letters listed above are acceptable for use on the NHS under the range of conditions tested with or without one or two lightweight warning lights, when proposed by a State.

This letter may be considered an amendment to the FHWA acceptance letters WZ-61, WZ-102, WZ-152, and WZ-166.

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

Sincerely yours,

/original signed by George E. Rice, Jr./

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


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