KYTC suspends installation of ET-Plus guardrail terminal, pending new crash tests
No known safety issues in Kentucky but ‘prudent to suspend use’
FRANKFORT, Ky. (Oct. 31, 2014) – The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet (KYTC) has temporarily suspended installation of the ET-Plus guardrail end treatment, pending results of new crash tests mandated by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA).
On Friday, Oct. 24, Trinity notified state departments of transportation that it would stop shipment of ET-Plus units until testing is completed. On Monday, Oct. 27, KYTC de-listed the ET-Plus as a permitted option for installation or replacement of Type 1 guardrail end treatments.
Kentucky has experienced no known safety issues with the ET-Plus, manufactured by Trinity Highway Products LLC, of Dallas. “However, we considered it prudent to suspend use of the ET-Plus as a new or replacement guardrail terminal until questions from other states about its safety and performance are resolved,” Transportation Cabinet Secretary Mike Hancock said.
“We are monitoring developments and keeping in regular contact with our federal partners at FHWA on this matter,” Secretary Hancock said.
FHWA last week ordered Trinity to submit the ET-Plus to new testing. That followed a trial in Texas in which a jury determined Trinity had committed fraud by failing to disclose to FHWA or the states that the design of its guardrail terminal had been changed.
KYTC maintains an “approved product list” but does not specify a product brand when a guardrail contract is put out for bids. Instead, the contractor chooses from among brands on the list. ET-Plus is one brand of Type 1 guardrail end treatment.
“Like FHWA and our sister states, we await the completion of new crash tests, after which an appropriate decision will be made about future use of the ET-Plus,” Secretary Hancock said.