Alexander, Corker, Duncan seek fed focus on alleged defective guardrails

Three Tennessee congressmen – Sens. Lamar Alexander and Bob Corker, along with Rep. John Duncan Jr. – are asking federal officials to consider revoking their approval for the use of highway guardrails linked to four fatalities in Tennessee, reports WJHL-TV.

In the letter, they asked FHWA Acting Deputy Administrator Butch Waidelich, Jr. to consider revoking its letter of eligibility for the X-Lite Terminal Guard rail issued in 2011.

The eligibility letter indicates the product has been tested and is eligible for federal reimbursements for states that use it.

But last year, Tennessee’s Departments of Transportation removed the X-Lite terminal from its approved products list based on crash data. And in October, TDOT ordered the product to be pulled from Tennessee roads starting this spring.

Virginia’s Department of Transportation removed the X-Lite end terminal from its approved list last year after independent crash testing.  That terminal is currently being replaced as past of VDOT’s risk-based assessment program.

“In light of these events and growing evidence of safety concerns, FHWA should ask state departments of transportation and the manufacturer to voluntarily provide information on road accidents or petential defects related to the X-Lite guard rail unit,” Senators Alexander and Corker wrote in the letter co-signed by U.S. Rep. John Duncan (R-Tennessee).   “If FHWA identifies safety concers, FHWA should consider revoking the September 7, 2011 letter of eligibility for the X-Lite Terminal Guard rail.”

Earlier this week, an East Tennessee father met with the Department of Transportation in Washington asking for the nationwide ban.   Stephen Eimers said four people have died in X-Lite related crashes in Tennessee within the past year.

One of those people killed was his daughter Hannah who died in a guardrail crash last November.

The company that makes the X-Lite has said the product passed crash safety tests conducted by a company which is owned by the same company that makes the X-Lite terminal.

Note: Eimers, of Lenoir City, earlier appeared before a state legislative committee to voice his concerns. Previous post HERE.

One Response to Alexander, Corker, Duncan seek fed focus on alleged defective guardrails

  • danny reed says:

    Will the controversial ET -Plus 4 inch guardrail head be replaced? Seemly, some of these may be very dangerous according to numerous news articles I have seen?

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Former Knoxville News Sentinel capitol bureau chief Tom Humphrey writes about Tennessee politics, government, and legislative news.
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