The Ohio Department of Transportation is the latest to suspend the purchase of ET-Plus Guardrail End Terminals manufactured by Trinity Highway Products, LLC. Ohio has removed them from a state-approved list of products used on the state’s roadways.
Ohio isn’t the first state to remove the ET-Plus guardrails from its state-approved list of products, and it likely won’t be the last. In October 10 states decided to remove the product from state-approved lists including Vermont, Hawaii, Colorado, Massachusetts, Mississippi, Missouri, New Hampshire, Nevada, Oregon and Virginia.
“ODOT will monitor the results of the crash tests and act appropriately as more information becomes available,” according to an ODOT statement.
Trinity Industries, parent company to Trinity Highway Products, has already been ordered to pay $175 million in damages. That money is expected to triple by statutory mandate after jurors decided the company had defrauded the government several years ago by altering an approved guardrail end terminal design in 2005. The company failed to tell the federal government or state transportation departments about the changes until questions were raised in 2012.
The modifications made in 2005 including shortening ET-Plus end terminals from five inches to four inches. That change is believed to cause the guardrail to jam up, and act as a spear.