Federal task force finds ET Plus System W-beam terminal guardrails safe

The ET Plus System, an extruding W-beam guardrail terminal system manufactured by Trinity Highway Products, has been found to be safe and without performance limitations by a joint task force that included Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) officials.

FHWA and AASHTO recently published results from a second round of joint task force meetings to determine whether there is evidence of performance limitations unique to the ET Plus System. The task force also set out to determine any such performance limitations in other brands of extruding W-beam guardrails.

The joint task force consisted of six representatives from the FHWA, three representatives from AASHTO, nine representatives from various state departments of transportation and independent experts.

The task force concluded that while there are no performance limitations unique to the ET Plus System, there always will be real-world conditions that exceed the performance expectations of any manufacturer's W-beam guardrails.

Some of those conditions, the task force concluded, include issues with installation, maintenance or repair. Others were terrain features, vehicle stability and crashworthiness, and site conditions.

The task force’s findings eliminate the need for additional crash testing on existing W-beam guardrails. The report said more crash testing “would not be informative” and “would be irrelevant.”

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