Safety concerns over highway guardrail

By: Channel 8 Newsroom

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) Nebraska officials say they will continue using a highway guardrail system that has been the focus of safety concerns until the Federal Highway Administration says it shouldn’t.

Trinity Industries’ ET-Plus guardrail system has been used in Nebraska since 2005 mostly on interstates and freeways.

In the last five years, there have been 107 accidents involving ET-Plus guardrails and three deaths in Nebraska, but the Roads Department has no evidence the system malfunctioned.

A Texas jury on Monday issued a $175 million award in a lawsuit brought by a Trinity competitor and whistleblower who charged that end caps on the Trinity ET-Plus guardrails can malfunction and pierce a vehicle.     

Trinity disputes the ruling, and federal safety experts are retesting the system.