June 10, 2016 - The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) announced today that it has entered into an agreement with Trinity Industries and Trinity Highway Products, under which the companies will undertake a range of actions to improve and enhance the safety of our roadways. Following a Texas federal judge’s 2015 order concluding that Trinity violated the False Claims Act with regard to its ET-Plus guardrail end terminal, FHWA issued a notice to the Trinity companies that it was considering starting suspension and debarment proceedings and asking the companies to explain why they should not be suspended from doing business with the United States. This agreement resolves this matter. So long as they comply with the terms of the agreement, the Trinity companies will continue to be eligible to enter into federal contracts and to be eligible for federal-aid reimbursement for their roadside safety hardware products.
The terms of today's settlement are:
Trinity will implement a revised compliance program for its roadside safety hardware eligibility submissions, overseen by an independent Monitor for three years. The Monitor will review and investigate the overall effectiveness of the Trinity Highway Eligibility Compliance Program and verify that Trinity Highway is following the applicable FHWA Federal-aid Highway Reimbursement Eligibility Process, and any future changes to that process, with monthly and quarterly reports prepared by the company’s Compliance Officer.
In addition to this monitoring, the agreement requires additional actions to support further innovation in roadside safety (based on the findings of the FHWA-AASHTO Joint Task Force Reports), through two unique programs:
Guardrail Terminal Tracking Pilot Program: This program requires Trinity Highway to develop a pilot program to track the manufacture, purchase, installation, maintenance, repair and replacement of guardrail terminals. This program includes a method to mark, identify and record installation information for guardrail end terminals, including tracking key information about inspections and maintenance, repair or replacement. Trinity will partner with at least one state to pilot the program. At the end of the pilot program, the company will provide FHWA a report regarding the results of the program and any recommendations for improved tracking.
Training Program Regarding Guardrail End Terminals: Trinity will develop and implement a web-based training program regarding assembly, installation, inspection, and maintenance of Trinity Highway’s guardrail terminal systems. The agreement requires Trinity Highway to maintain records documenting the number of individuals who complete the training and the job responsibilities of these individuals.
In exchange for this monitoring and these additional requirements, the FHWA agrees not to suspend and propose to debar the Trinity companies.