RETESTING OF THE ET-PLUS
In October 2014, FHWA requested that Trinity arrange for crash testing of the 4-inch ET-Plus at an independent, accredited test laboratory. The tests were conducted at Southwest Research Institute (SwRI) – a certified independent lab – in December 2014 and January 2015. The purpose of the tests was to "reset" the baseline to ensure that the ET-Plus complies with the crash test criteria that are applicable to this device—the NCHRP-350 testing criteria—criteria that have been applied to roadside safety hardware from 1993 to 2011 and to which a majority of roadside safety devices on the Nation’s roadway system currently comply.
8 crash tests took place:
- 4 tests at a guardrail height of 27.75 inches (the test height the Virginia Department of Transportation required of Trinity); and
- 4 tests at a guardrail height of 31 inches (the height of the guardrail from the 2005 tests).
FHWA worked to ensure the integrity and transparency of the ET-Plus retesting:
- FHWA requested that the devices tested be selected from inventory of a State DOT. This was to ensure that the devices were fully representative of the devices actually on the roadway. The devices for testing were acquired from Caltrans. FHWA enlisted an independent expert, Dr. Clay Gabler, with Virginia Tech, to evaluate the test facility. Dr. Gabler's review fully confirms the integrity of the testing at SwRI.
- FHWA experts were present at each test, reviewed the set-up—including the heads, posts and device measurements—witnessed the tests themselves, and conducted a post-test evaluation of the devices. Engineers from at least eight State DOTs also took advantage of this opportunity. Dr. Gabler witnessed four of the tests and was provided the same access to the test articles, set up and post-crash test examination as provided to the FHWA and State DOT representatives.
- At FHWA’s encouragement, two openings were made available to the media to observe the crash tests. Additionally, a media helicopter was at seven of the eight tests. FHWA and an AASHTO representative were available after each crash test to answer media questions.
SwRI, FHWA and Dr. Gabler each independently evaluated the crash test results. Each independently concluded that the ET-Plus meets the NCHRP 350 criteria at both the 27.75-inch and 31-inch height.
We have posted the test results, findings, and related information below so that anyone wishing to compare the crash test data against the standards applicable to the device may have the benefit of the full and complete data set.
CRASH TEST RESULTS & VIDEOS
- Crash Test of the ET Plus End Terminal with 4-inch Wide Guide Channel Installed with a Rail Height of 27 ¾ Inches, posted February 6, 2015
- Crash Test of the ET Plus End Terminal with 4-inch Wide Guide Channel Installed with a Rail Height of 31 Inches, posted March 13, 2015
CRASH TEST CORRESPONDENCE & FAQs
- ET-Plus Retesting Information, December 10, 2014
- Memorandum - ACTION: E- Plus W-Beam Guardrail Terminal, October 10, 2014
- Letter from FHWA to Trinity Highway Products, LLC, October 21, 2014
- Trinity Highway Products Work Plan for Crash Test of the ET-Plus with 4-inch Guide Channels, October 31, 2014
- FHWA Response to the Work Plan, November 4, 2014
- Letter from Trinity Highway Products, LLC to FHWA, November 6, 2014
- Trinity Highway Products Work Plan for Crash Test of the ET-Plus with 4-inch Guide Channels, November 6, 2014
- Letter from FHWA to Trinity Highway Products, LLC, November 12, 2014
- Trinity ET-Plus Re-Testing/Guardrail End Terminal Safety - FAQ
- Crash Test Plan for the ET-Plus Guardrail End Terminal - FAQ
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