MNDOT Issues advice on ET-Plus Guard Rails
-Due to litigation and safety concerns raised at the federal level, MNDOT is recommending that after October 27, 2014 no road authority accept the ET-Plus guardrail system. If your town is soliciting sealed bids, the bid specs should include a requirement that any system be acceptable under State and Federal guidelines so that if the ET system is bid, it could be rejected as non-responsive until the Federal and State advisory is lifted” Any system can always be rejected under the use of Quotes or direct solicitation with a vendor.
Trinity Highway Products
ET-Plus Guardrail End Treatment
As you may know, the Federal Highway administration has directed Trinity Highway Products to retest the ET-Plus System due to recent litigation that brought to light some safety concerns.
Late last week, Trinity Highway Products decided to stop shipment of the system until the requested testing is completed.
Due to these events, MnDOT has developed the following guidance:
Repairs to an installed ET-Plus System can be done, provided that the system is only moderately to lightly damaged.
If the damage is severe, then the end treatment system will need to be replaced with an acceptable alternative.
New ET-Plus Systems, an installation may be continued if the material is currently on hand, provided that the letting was prior to October 27, 2014.
Acceptable alternatives may be substituted for like pay items (see the Approved Product link below).
Trinity will be doing additional crash testing this fall. So if an installation is not scheduled until the next construction season, it is possible that the ET-Plus system can still be installed. Additional information on the testing timeline is expected next week.
The design choices of Tangent or Flared End Terminals are still available, however the ET-Plus information plan sheet and special provision options are not allowed.
Acceptable alternatives are listed on the Approve Products Page (see below). Additional design detail sheets will be made available on the ihub page for internal MnDOT downloads.
Acceptable alternatives can vary by district. The most common alternative is the SKT end terminal. However any chosen alternative must be from the MnDOT Approved Products list: http://www.dot.state.mn.us/products/roadsafety/endtreatments.html
City, County and Townships are encouraged to adopt the above or similar guidance.
Please feel free to contact my office if you need additional information or need further assistance. We will be setting up a FAQ web page to help answer other questions during this period.
Thank you for your patience and understanding.
Design Standards Engineer
MnDOT- Office of Project Management and Technical Support