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FHWA Home / Safety / Roadway Departure / Safety Eligibility Letter

Safety Eligibility Letter WZ - 298

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U.S. Department of Transportation
Federal Highway Administration

1200 New Jersey Ave. S.E.
Washington, D.C. 20590

March 3, 2011

In Reply Refer To: HSSD/WZ-298

Mr. Mark Middleton
Rochester Rotational Moldings
1952 East Lucas Street
Rochester, IN. 46975

Dear Mr. Middleton:

This letter is in response to your request for Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) acceptance of a roadside safety system for use on the National Highway System (NHS).

Name of system: Rochester Rotational Molding Longitudinal Channelizer
Type of system:Longitudinal Channelizing Device
Test Level:AASHTO Manual for Assessing Safety Hardware Test Level 2
Testing conducted by:Texas Transportation Institute
Date of request:August 2, 2010
Date Final package:January 11, 2011

You requested that we find this system acceptable for use on the NHS under the provisions of the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) “Manual for Assessing Safety Hardware” (MASH).

Roadside safety devices should meet the guidelines contained in the MASH.

The following device was found acceptable, with details provided below:

The test installation is the Rochester Rotational Moldings Longitudinal Channelizer (LC). This is a low density polyethylene, rotationally molded, water holding container. This LC is 72 inches long and 24 inches wide at the base and 10 inches wide at the top. The total height of the LC is 42 inches.

There is a 6 inch wide rounded slot on one end of the LC that extends full height of the LC and a 5-3/4 inch wide rounded protrusion on the opposite end that extends full height of the LC. There is a lower vertical face on the LC, 6 inches tall. Installation consisted of 20 sections for a total length of 120 feet. Water was placed in each of the LC to the top of the lower vertical face. The empty weight of each LC was 105 pounds and the tested total weight of each LC was 461 pounds. The LC’s were installed with the protrusions pointed to the downstream end of the installation.

Details are provided as enclosure to this correspondence.

Crash Testing
Physical crash test for TL-2 as per MASH requires that longitudinal barrier systems be subjected to the following two full-scale vehicle crash tests:

  1. Test Designation 3-90: A 1100C vehicle (2,425-lb) passenger car impacting at a nominal speed and angle of 100.0 km/h (62 mph) and Critical Impact Angle (CIA) of 0-25 degrees respectively.
  2. Test Designation 3-91: A 2270P vehicle (5,004-lb) pickup truck impacting at a nominal speed and angle of 100.0 km/h (62 mph) and CIA of 0-25 degrees respectively.

Only test designation 3-90 was conducted for the LC described within the description section of this correspondence. As per Texas Transportation Institute e-mail correspondence dated January 11, 2011, regarding test designation 3-91, no testing of the 2270P vehicle was conducted as part of the MASH testing of the Water Filled Channelizer due to vehicle higher impact energy and stability. In addition, the CIA used for testing was reviewed and accepted by Mr. Nicholas Artimovich, Highway Engineer, FHWA Office of Safety.

The LC allowed controlled penetration of the system by the 1100C vehicle. Units 8 thru 10 broke apart but did not penetrate nor show potential for penetrating the occupant compartment. The 2 largest pieces weighing 60 pounds and 45 pounds slid along the surface of the concrete pavement at a fairly low rate of speed with the heaviest piece subsequently coming to rest 60 feet downstream and 15 feet toward the field side. No occupant compartment deformation or intrusion occurred. The 1100C vehicle remained upright during and after the collision event. Occupant risk factors were within the limits specified in MASH. The 1100C vehicle came to rest on the field side (behind) the installation. A physical crash test summary is included as enclosure to this correspondence.

Therefore, test designation 3-90, as conducted on the Rochester Rotational Molding LC was determined to be acceptable according to the TL-2 safety performance criteria found in MASH. In addition, the requested waiver of test designation 3-91 and reasoning as provided within this correspondence is also accepted.

In addition, the system described in the requests above and detailed in the enclosed drawings is acceptable for use on the NHS under the range of conditions tested, when such use is acceptable to a highway agency.

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


Sincerely yours,

/* Signature of Michael S. Griffith */

Michael S. Griffith
Director, Office of Safety Technologies
Office of Safety


Page last modified on June 24, 2011
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