MoDOT responds to report over "problematic" guardrails

5 years 11 months 1 week ago Tuesday, October 14 2014 Oct 14, 2014 Tuesday, October 14, 2014 1:46:00 PM CDT October 14, 2014 in News
By: Lee Anne Denyer, KOMU 8 Reporter
loading

JEFFERSON CITY - Missouri transportation officials responded Tuesday to a "New York Times" article which says internal department documents blasted the safety of guardrails statewide.

The New York Times article is a byproduct of a Texas lawsuit alleging Trinity Industries, a manufacturer, changed the design of its ET Plus guardrails. The lawsuit alleges the company did not notify the Federal Highway Administration about the 2005 change as required by law. The new design shortened the guardrail head from five to four inches.

"There were design changes made in the product in 2005 that were not reported to the Federal Highway Administration. There is an ongoing lawsuit with a whistleblower and Trinity Industrities," MoDOT spokesperson Joseph Jones said.

Jones is a MoDOT Engineering Policy Administrator. He said the department stopped purchasing the Trinity railheads in late September and suspended installation while it tested the products' safety. He said it was cautionary measure while teams evaluated the safety of the guard heads prevalent across the state.

"We have evidence in the state just eyewitness accounts by some our staff and photos that show that this did not perform as it was designed," Jones said.

Jones said there are likely 25,000 of the Trinity ET Plus guard heads around the state.

"I don't think drivers need to have an elevated concern, " he said. "We just want to take a step back and do our own internal evaluation of the product to be doubly sure that it poses no elevated threat risk to the public."

KOMU 8 News took the "New York Times" article to the director of the MU Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering. He said a guard head is the most dangerous part of the structure and engineers have worked to design the head to ensure survival if a driver hits the end of the rail.

"You don't want to snag a car," Director Charles Nemmers said. "You don't want things sticking out, a piece of lose metal, a bolt, something that would snag the car and grab it. You'd want it to be smoothly deflected."

The ET Plus rails are identifiable by their vertical design with thick black and yellow stripes.

 

More News

Grid
List
COLUMBIA – Mizzou's football fans are reconciling their team spirit with a global pandemic. The Tigers met Alabama at... More >>
3 hours ago Saturday, September 26 2020 Sep 26, 2020 Saturday, September 26, 2020 7:57:00 PM CDT September 26, 2020 in News
HALLSVILLE – With the 2020 election fast approaching, a few Missouri politicians tried to sell themselves, from a cell. ... More >>
6 hours ago Saturday, September 26 2020 Sep 26, 2020 Saturday, September 26, 2020 4:59:00 PM CDT September 26, 2020 in News
(CNN) -- President Donald Trump on Saturday said he is nominating Amy Coney Barrett , a conservative federal appeals court... More >>
7 hours ago Saturday, September 26 2020 Sep 26, 2020 Saturday, September 26, 2020 4:20:23 PM CDT September 26, 2020 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Today marked the 20th anniversary of Jefferson City’s Oktoberfest and while there were doubts over whether or... More >>
8 hours ago Saturday, September 26 2020 Sep 26, 2020 Saturday, September 26, 2020 3:09:00 PM CDT September 26, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - Columbia Public School's Dr. Peter Stiepleman was named 2021 Superintendent of the Year by Missouri Association of School... More >>
9 hours ago Saturday, September 26 2020 Sep 26, 2020 Saturday, September 26, 2020 2:06:00 PM CDT September 26, 2020 in News
As COVID-19 continues to spread, KOMU 8 will continue to update you about impacts in the community. Previous coverage: ... More >>
13 hours ago Saturday, September 26 2020 Sep 26, 2020 Saturday, September 26, 2020 10:09:00 AM CDT September 26, 2020 in News
STE. GENEVIEVE - Blair Oaks' 51 regular season game win streak ended against Valle Catholic on Friday. Blair Oaks fell... More >>
1 day ago Friday, September 25 2020 Sep 25, 2020 Friday, September 25, 2020 8:47:00 PM CDT September 25, 2020 in Friday Night Fever
(CNN) -- Covid-19 vaccinations could start as early as November, Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation's leading infectious disease expert, said... More >>
1 day ago Friday, September 25 2020 Sep 25, 2020 Friday, September 25, 2020 7:55:00 PM CDT September 25, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - Columbia’s Goodwill Excel Center Hosted its very first commencement ceremony. The Goodwill Excel Center is a free... More >>
1 day ago Friday, September 25 2020 Sep 25, 2020 Friday, September 25, 2020 7:51:00 PM CDT September 25, 2020 in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — Nine television stations have pulled an ad criticizing Democratic candidate for Missouri governor Nicole Galloway. ... More >>
1 day ago Friday, September 25 2020 Sep 25, 2020 Friday, September 25, 2020 5:47:00 PM CDT September 25, 2020 in News
MID-MISSOURI - Week five of Friday Night Fever is here. Before you head out to your team's game or tune... More >>
1 day ago Friday, September 25 2020 Sep 25, 2020 Friday, September 25, 2020 5:42:00 PM CDT September 25, 2020 in Sports
O'FALLON, Mo. (AP) — A federal appeals court panel is weighing the fate of a sweeping Missouri abortion law, including... More >>
1 day ago Friday, September 25 2020 Sep 25, 2020 Friday, September 25, 2020 5:15:01 PM CDT September 25, 2020 in News
Welcome to Week 5 of Friday Night Fever! Our game of the week features the Eldon Mustangs travelling to Southern... More >>
1 day ago Friday, September 25 2020 Sep 25, 2020 Friday, September 25, 2020 4:55:00 PM CDT September 25, 2020 in Friday Night Fever
Below are scores from high school football games from across mid-Missouri. Check out KOMU 8's liveblog with updates from some... More >>
1 day ago Friday, September 25 2020 Sep 25, 2020 Friday, September 25, 2020 4:54:00 PM CDT September 25, 2020 in Friday Night Fever
ASHLAND - It's Thursday morning. Head football coach Trent Tracy gets to Southern Boone High School to turn on the... More >>
1 day ago Friday, September 25 2020 Sep 25, 2020 Friday, September 25, 2020 4:10:00 PM CDT September 25, 2020 in Friday Night Fever
MOUNT VERNON, Mo. (AP) — Nine people have been indicted by a grand jury in connection with the kidnapping and... More >>
1 day ago Friday, September 25 2020 Sep 25, 2020 Friday, September 25, 2020 4:05:38 PM CDT September 25, 2020 in News
(CNN) -- President Donald Trump intends to choose Amy Coney Barrett to be the new Supreme Court justice, according to... More >>
1 day ago Friday, September 25 2020 Sep 25, 2020 Friday, September 25, 2020 3:16:00 PM CDT September 25, 2020 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Jefferson City firefighters responded to a structure fire in the 400 block of Marshall Street Friday morning... More >>
1 day ago Friday, September 25 2020 Sep 25, 2020 Friday, September 25, 2020 12:12:00 PM CDT September 25, 2020 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 70°
12am 69°
1am 68°
2am 67°
3am 65°