VDOT to begin replacing guardrails after troubling crash test

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RICHMOND, Va. -- The state will begin a massive replacement project for the guardrails that line Virginia’s roadways in the wake of a troubling crash test.

A VDOT study found that at least four vehicles had recently been penetrated or impaled after striking the modified ET-Plus guardrail end terminal made by Trinity Industries.

As WTVR has previously reported, the Commonwealth is suing Trinity, alleging the company cut back on quality, potentially putting drivers at risk.

In the wake of the study, VDOT hired an independent company to conduct six crash tests.

The modified ET-Plus passed most of them, but failed one in which a truck hit the guardrail end at a shallow angle and then overturned.

Trinity had insisted they did not believe the tests were needed and said their guardrails had passed previous testing by the Federal Highway Administration.

VDOT said it will begin by replacing guard rail ends in high risk areas, like those along sections of the interstate with high speed limits.

The state hopes to eventually replace all of the guardrails, but that will take years and could cost $100 million.