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Ballasting Questions for the FHWA/DOT Midwest Work Zone Roundtable

State MO
Description Text

From: Nick.Artimovich@dot.gov

Sent: Monday, July 21, 2014 12:25 PM

To: Daniel.Smith@modot.mo.gov

Cc: Ken.Wood@dot.gov; marc.thornsberry@dot.gov; Julie.Stotlemeyer@modot.mo.gov;
Rob.Frese@modot.mo.gov; James.Connell@modot.mo.gov

Subject: RE: Ballasting Questions for the FHWA/DOT Midwest Work Zone


Mr. Smith,

Thank you for your inquiry. I
will defer to the researchers at Midwest Roadside Safety Facility on this
question. They have conducted numerous tests on portable sign stands and would
be a better source for information. If their extensive crash testing experience
leads them to the opinion that your requested options would not seriously
compromise the crash-worthiness of these devices under NCHRP Report 350
then  I would concur with their assessment.


While I have reviewed numerous
crash test reports of portable sign stands I have not kept a record of which
used ballast, nor the performance of the ballast upon impact.


You may find contact information
for the MWRSF on our website listing all accredited laboratories: http://safety.fhwa.dot.gov/roadway_dept/policy_guide/road_hardware/laboratories/




Nicholas A. Artimovich, II

Highway Engineer, Safety Design

Office of Safety Technologies,
Rm E71-322

Federal Highway Administration

U.S. Department of

1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE

Washington, DC 20590

Phone 202-366-1331

Email nick.artimovich@dot.gov

WebSite  http://safety.fhwa.dot.gov


From: Dan Smith [mailto:Daniel.Smith@modot.mo.gov]

Sent: Wednesday, July 16, 2014 1:39 PM

To: Artimovich, Nick (FHWA)

Cc: Wood, Ken (FHWA); Thornsberry, Marc; Julie Stotlemeyer; Rob Frese;

Subject: Ballasting Questions for the FHWA/DOT Midwest Work Zone


Mr. Artimovich:  MoDOT has been working on several
ballasting ideas as possible alternatives to sandbags.  In May, I
presented the ballasting ideas to the FHWA/DOT Midwest Work Zone Roundtable and
they were interested in the different ballasts and field applications.  As
a consensus, the roundtable would like your our opinion if they would be
acceptable alternatives or would need crash testing.   The
description and examples are located in the attached word document. 


If you have any questions please let me know.  Thank
you for your time. 


Daniel J. Smith, P.E.

Traffic Management and Operations Engineer

MoDOT – Traffic Division

830 MoDOT Drive P.O. Box 270

Jefferson City, MO 65102

Office: (573) 526-4329



  • Work-Zone Systems
Other Keywords none
Date July 16, 2014
Attachment Ballast Questions & Pictures.docx


We have briefly reviewed the material contained in the recent inquiry. In general, if the ballast is not positioned higher than the originally configured sandbags/ballast and does not provide a potentially hazardous condition (based on size, material selection, attachment to base/legs, etc.), then alternative ballast options would likely allow the work-zone device to perform similarly and in a safe manner. If sand ballast bags or sacks are fabricated using a stronger material and protrude farther above the base and legs than original tested and evaluated, then I could envision a condition where small car vehicles encountered increased instabilities after traversing across the system.




Date July 31, 2014

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(402) 472-0965
Email: mwrsf@unl.edu
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