Refer to: HSA-10/WZ-41 Amendment #1

Mr. Henry Ross
United Rentals Highway Technologies
880 North Addison Road
P.O. Box 7050
Villa Park, Illinois 60181-7050

Dear Mr. Ross:

This is in response to your letter of March 25, 2003, requesting Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) acceptance of your company's Type I and Type II barricades using 0.350-inch thick polyethylene panels in widths up to 36 inches as crashworthy traffic control devices for use in work zones on the National Highway System (NHS). Accompanying your letter was a sample of the panel material and references to tests of previously accepted barricades that support your request. 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 were those lightweight devices which could be self-certified by the vendor, Category II devices were other lightweight devices which needed individual crash testing, Category III devices were barriers and other fixed or massive devices also needing crash testing, and Category IV devices were trailer mounted lighted signs, arrow panels, etc. 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.

Your Type I and II barricades were crash tested using inch plywood panels which were 24 inches wide. A brief description of the tested barricades follows:

The three barricades tested featured 24 inch long and inch thick plywood panels. The legs are 12 ga, 1 x 1 1/4 mm steel angles conforming to ASTM specification A-499 grade 60 rail steel. The width of the plywood panels was either 8 inches or 12 inches, depending upon the model.

The panels are riveted to the legs using 5/16" x 3/4" semi-tubular aluminum rivets (alloy 5056, 0 tempered) with a 3/4" head diameter. Each barricade also had a Toughlite 2000 warning light manufactured by WLI Industries, mounted with standard vandal-resistant hardware with cupped washer. The heaviest of the barricades weighed approximately 25.5 pounds with the light in place.

Full-scale automobile testing was conducted on your company' barricades and they were found acceptable per FHWA Acceptance Letter WZ-41, dated June 6, 2000. Your current request is that these barricades be considered acceptable when:

  1. panels of 0.350 inch thick high-density polyethylene are used, and/or
  2. the same configuration of Type I and Type II barricades, using plywood and 0.350 polyethylene panels, when used in a 36 inch wide configuration.

You referenced the following prior letters of acceptance:

WZ-6 to Bent Manufacturing dated 11-23-1998 (generic up to 36 inches wide) WZ-36 to Protection Services dated May 24, 2000 (up to 36 inches wide) WZ-46 to TrafFix dated July 31, 2000 (HDPE 24 inches wide) WZ-66 to United Rentals dated September 10, 2001 ( 0.300 inch thick polypropylene panels) WZ-88 to Barricade Light and Rental dated March 28, 2002 (0.350 inch thick HDPE panels) WZ-112 to Camsco Services dated March 28, 2002 (0.800 inch thick HDPE extruded panels)

We concur that your request falls within the range of generic Type I and Type II barricades that have been crash tested and accepted (notwithstanding the fact that some of the tests you referenced were conducted with private funds). Therefore, the Type I and Type II Barricades 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 FHWA letters of acceptance:

Sincerely yours,

Michael S. Griffith
Acting Director, Office of Safety Design
Office of Safety