Why does this dangerous roadside barrier continue to exist?

The official propaganda provided to the public is that their safety is being looked after and they do not need to know the details. But is that a factual reality?

On June 20, 2018 Gorski Consulting re-visited the site of a dangerous roadside barrier that continues to exist without any public awareness of the problem. The site is located on Glendon Road at the west end of the Kilworth bridge, on the western outskirts of London Ontario. It involves the installation of an ET-Plus guardrail terminal which is manufactured by Trinity Highway Products of Dallas, Texas.

Even an individual who might have lived in a cave for the past 10 years might still recognize the controversy that has existed over the civil suit involving Trinity Highway Products and it ET-Plus terminal. A $600 million law suit was at stake in the U.S. whereby it was alleged that the design of the ET-Plus terminal was causing vehicles to be harpooned by the jamming of the guardrail within the throat of the ET-Plus terminal. It was alleged that this jamming was the reason why the end of a buckled guardrail would penetrate the interior of a striking vehicle resulting in numerous injuries and deaths. Setting aside the controversial judgment that was rendered, there was a large publicizing of the problem in the news media, particularly in the U.S. In Canada a separate class action law suit was filed and that was also recently resolved. So regardless of where one sat on the fence, pro or con, there should not have been any ambiguity that the controversy existed.

As this controversy took its course, Gorski Consulting was involved in examining a number of ET-Plus installations to determine, independently, whether there was a genuine design defect in the ET-Plus. As part of these activities, in November of 2014 we came across the particular installation of the ET-Plus located on the west end of the Kilworth Bridge. The two photos below indicate what we found at that time.

This view from November 27, 2014 shows that, as a result of recent impact, the end of the guardrail was pulled out of the ET-Plus terminal and was now exposed to penetration by any unlucky vehicle that would strike it.

There is no ambiguity in the result as any untrained eye could observe the obvious fact that the exposed end of the guardrail would puncture any vehicle making contact with it.

While we recognized the danger there was little that could be done given that there was no formal manner by which the actions of those maintaining these dangerous installations could be altered. So periodically, we returned to the site each year to note that absolutely nothing was done correct the problem.

Then, in a June 11, 2018 article entitled “Middlesex County charts 20-year plan for Glendon corridor” The London Free Press included the photo shown  below. This photo shows the dangerous ET-Plus installation at the bottom right of the view.

London Free Press photo of the Kilworth bridge showing the dangerous ET-Plus terminal without recognition of the danger.

The London Free Press article began with these words:

“It’s a busy stretch of road that’s only going to get busier. That’s why Middlesex County Council is working on plans to expand Glendon Drive over the next 20 years”. The article quoted the Middlesex Centre Deputy Mayor who stated “We are recognizing  that we have pending development”.

It becomes that much more ironic when the public is provided with this propaganda about what developments are being prepared to increase the efficiency and safety of the road. In the middle of this discussion is an obviously dangerous installation that neither the official media has been capable of recognizing, nor are those responsible for the existence of the danger willing to tell anyone that the problem exists.

The question remains, when a vehicle goes out of control on the downgrade approaching the ET-Plus terminal, and a vehicle becomes harpooned by the exposed end of the guardrail, will the investigating police properly inform the news media, and will the news media properly inform the public that an improperly maintained roadside barrier existed?

When a fatal collision occurs a roadway is closed for a long distance in the vicinity of the police investigation. The reporters from the Aylmer Express Newspaper recently found out how precarious it can be to attempt to document the actions of police during their investigation of a traffic fatality. Those reporters, John Hueston and his son Brett, were recently charged with “criminal obstruction of a police officer” when they got too close to a fatal accident site.

These are no simple concerns. When investigative journalists are dropping like flies in the new era of social media and drops in ad revenue, it becomes that much more important that the public receives the proper facts about the dangers around them.