FDOT adopts “categories” for MASH implementation
Third state transportation department to release implementation plans on adapting to MASH-16 standards
The Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) has adopted the four categories used in the National Cooperative Highway Research Program (NCHRP)-350 into its state plan for Manual for Assessing Safety Hardware-16 implementation.
Category I devices, which include cones, tubular markers, plastic drums and STOP/SLOW paddles, are not required to be tested to MASH standards. Rather, as under NCHRP-350, the manufacturer must submit a self-certification that the device meets MASH-16 standards. Category II and III devices must be tested to the full matrix of MASH-16 requirements. Subsequent modifications to a tested device will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis by an FDOT technical expert to determine if additional crash testing is needed.
According to FDOT, at this time, no crash testing will be required for Category IV devices until the agency can evaluate once “MASH compliant ‘Portable Work Zone Control Trailers’ are available and after an assessment of their functionality and availability can be made.”
FDOT is the third agency to release clarifications on testing traffic control devices in compliance with MASH-16 standards. The North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT) and the California Department of Transportation (CalTrans) both released plans on what procedures needed to be taken to comply with MASH-16 standards.
NCDOT provided clarification on Guardrail End Units (GREUs), which would be required to be installed on all guardrail projects moving forward. End units approved under NCHRP-350 standards are being removed from contracts and replaced with MASH approved GREU devices. As of July 1, 2017, the department required division maintenance contacts to be amended to install GREU devices for new and replacement installations.
As of December 31, 2016, CalTrans did not evaluate roadway safety hardware that was not compliant to MASH testing standards. Since the department’s issued memorandum on Dec. 23, 2016, projects were required to use devices that were MASH compliant for new installations and replacements. New MASH compliant products were also to be submitted to the CalTrans new products coordinator, who would evaluate the products and make recommendations on usage.
FDOT Product Evaluation Coordinator Paul Gentry said the transition from NCHRP-350 standards to MASH-16 standards in an important discussion that more state transportation departments should be addressing.
“Three out of 50 states are not enough for manufacturers,” Gentry said. “There are a lot of people who want some answers. I can’t alleviate all concerns but I do want to make sure the right information is being disseminated.”