N.H. DOT Suspends Installation Of Potentially Faulty Guardrail Component

Oct 22, 2014

New Hampshire’s Department of Transportation has suspended the installation of a potentially faulty guardrail end unit, but officials say they’re waiting for more information before removing the 1,300 units already installed.

Department of Transportation spokesman Bill Boynton says the state has been installing the Trinity ET-Plus pieces for nearly a decade.

“These are devices that are meant to absorb energy and basically give and have the guard rail attached it to collapse and veer away from it if the end unit is hit.”

Earlier this week a Texas jury ordered the manufacturer of the units to pay $175 million in damages. A whistleblower brought the suit, claiming the products were unsafe after a design change in 2005.

The units had been granted federal safety approval before the design was changed and have been installed in all 50 states.

Boynton says there’s approximately 1,300 of these units installed across New Hampshire roads, but says the department is waiting for more information before trying to track those down.

“We haven’t decided yet about moving forward in terms of any kind of removal. We’re not convinced they aren’t safe in terms of what they were designed to do.”

Boynton says there are questions about whether the guard rail end unit led to more serious injuries in a June accident on I-93 in Ashland.