The American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) and FHWA have agreed upon the implementation of the 2016 Manual for Assessing Safety Hardware (MASH) crash standards for roadside safety hardware and sunset dates for non-MASH compliant devices. The MASH testing criteria replaces NCHRP-350 testing criteria and better reflects the impact of the current vehicle fleet with barrier. The joint implementation agreement states that NCHRP-350 temporary work zone devices in good condition that are approved for use in Ohio by the Department may continue to be used after this sunset date through the service life of the device, as determined by the Department. The sunset dates for non-MASH Compliant devices are listed below:
- December 31, 2017: w-beam barriers and cast-in-place concrete barriers
- June 30, 2018: w-beam terminals
- December 31, 2018: transitions and crash cushions
- December 31, 2019: cable barriers, cable barrier terminals, bridge rails, transitions, all other longitudinal barriers (including portable barriers installed permanently), all other terminals, sign supports, and all other breakaway hardware. This includes all temporary work zone devices and portable barriers.
ODOT will determine if a product or system is eligible for use in Ohio based upon the below methodologies. In conjunction with these methodologies ODOT will determine if a product meets the needs of the State of Ohio based on considerations including but not limited to ease/clarity of installation, cost, maintenance requirements or in-service performance (in Ohio or other states). Satisfying one of the below methodologies does not guarantee approval if a device or system does not meet the needs of Ohio as determined by ODOT. ODOT reserves the right, as granted by the July 25, 1997 FHWA memorandum, “Action: Identifying Acceptable Highway Safety Features”, to reject a product or place limitations on its use, require additional testing, or require in-service evaluation.
- Method 1: FHWA Eligibility Letter - Eligibility letter issued by FHWA. Copies of hardware eligibility letters issued by FHWA can be found here.
- Method 2: ISO 17025 Testing Facility - ODOT would evaluate the testing results and report issued by a testing house. This may include use of a partial test matrix as deemed appropriate by the testing facility.
- Method 3: Research Based - This includes NCHRP reports as well as miscellaneous research methodologies such as computer simulation, component testing, crash testing, etc. Approval would be based upon ODOT review and acceptance of the applicable research. 3rd party review could potentially be used by ODOT (ex. ISO 17025 testing facilities, researchers, consultants, etc.)
- Method 4: Approval by Other States - ODOT would review information, analysis, test results, etc. used by the original approving state as a basis for their approval. 3rd party review could potentially be used by ODOT (ex. ISO 17025 testing facilities, researchers, consultants, etc.)
- Method 5: Existing Systems with no MASH Equivalent - Existing NCHRP-350 systems would remain eligible for use until such a time that an acceptable equivalent MASH system that meets the needs of Ohio and is available and approved by ODOT for use. ODOT will provide the Ohio FHWA Division Office a plan describing our efforts to replace the existing NCHRP-350 systems with a MASH compliant system.
- Method 6: Revisions to an Existing Approved System - Manufacturers/sponsors of changes to existing approved MASH systems would be required to certify the proposed changes do not affect the systems’ ability to be MASH compliant. Included with the certification would be supporting information, analysis, etc. for ODOT review. ODOT may accept, reject, utilize a 3rd party review or require the submitter to obtain a letter from an ISO 17025 testing house concurring with their conclusions.
Documents and Additional Information
- A copy of the Memorandum regarding the AASHTO/FHWA Joint Implementation Agreement for the AASHTO Manual for Assessing Safety Hardware (MASH) can be found here.
- On May 26, 2017 FHWA issued a memo about changes to how requests for Federal-aid eligibility letters for roadside safety hardware systems are accepted. It is located here.
- Copies of hardware eligibility letters issued by FHWA can be found here.
- A full copy of the MASH ODOT Roadway Safety Hardware Eligibility Process can be found here.
- Information about Roadside Safety New Product Evaluation Process can be found here.
- Clarifications on Implementing the AASHTO Manual for Assessing Safety Hardware is available here.
Approved Roadside Hardware and Temporary Traffic Control Devices
- Alternate Guardrail Blockouts
- Alternate Guardrail Posts
- Arrow Boards
- Automated Flagger Assistance Devices (AFADs)
- Cones and Drums
- Detectable Warnings
- Digital Speed Limit (DSL) Sign Assembly
- Glare Screens
- Guardrail End Treatments
- High Tension Cable Barrier
- Impact Attenuators
- Longitudinal Channelizers
- Mailbox Supports
- Portable/Temporary Barrier
- Portable Changeable Message Signs (PCMS)
- Portable Sign Supports
- Portable Traffic Signals
- Sand Barrels
- Square Posts
- Temporary Portable Rumble Strips
- Type III Barricades
- U-Channel Posts
- Work Zone Egress Warning Systems
- Work Zone Queue Detection Warning Systems
The above links are to products currently approved for use in Ohio by ODOT. There may or may not be approved MASH products listed at these links.
ODOT: What is the definition of device service life?
A device is considered to be in its useful service life as defined by the ODOT "Quality Standards for Temporary Traffic Control Devices." The Department will set a drop-dead date for NCHRP-350 devices and is in the process of determining the appropriate date for different devices. After this date, devices that have a MASH approved equivalent and are not MASH-16 compliant will not be permitted for use by the Department even if still within their useful service life.
AASHTO Manual: May “Category 1” devices (i.e., drums, cones, road tubes) be self-certified by the manufacturer as crashworthy?
Low-mass, single-piece traffic cones, tubular markers, single-piece drums, and delineators (known as Category 1 devices under NCHRP 350) may be manufacturer-certified as MASH-compliant as long as there are no attachments to the device. If there are attachments, crash testing and/or evaluation to MASH criteria is required.
AASHTO Manual: Are devices known as “Category 4” devices under NCHRP 350 (such as portable, changeable-message sign (PCMS) trailers, temporary traffic signals, and camera trailers) exempt from crash testing?
MASH contains crash testing criteria for devices previously known as “Category 4” devices. See MASH 2016, Section 2.2.3, p 36, “Truck- and Trailer-Mounted Attenuators and Portable Work-Zone Traffic Control Trailers.” The AASHTO/FHWA Joint Implementation Agreement states that temporary work zone devices manufactured after December 31, 2019, must have been successfully tested to the 2016 edition of MASH.
AASHTO Manual: How long may portable concrete barriers and “Category 4” devices, such as trailer-mounted arrow boards, variable message signs, etc., meeting NCHRP Report 350 crash test criteria remain in use?
As stated in the AASHTO/FHWA Joint Implementation Agreement for MASH, "Temporary work zone devices, including portable barriers, manufactured after December 31, 2019, must have been successfully tested to the 2016 edition of MASH. Such devices manufactured on or before this date, and successfully tested to NCHRP Report 350 or the 2009 edition of MASH, may continue to be used throughout their normal service lives." Temporary work zone devices include, but are not limited to, all devices that were known as “Category 4” devices under NCHRP 350, including truck- and trailer-mounted attenuators. Note that individual transportation agencies/facility owners may opt to specify MASH-compliant devices sooner than stated in the joint implementation agreement.