By the end of June, the Tennessee Department of Transportation will have removed 1,925 X-Lite guardrail end terminals from along state roads. That's the latest estimate according to a TDOT spokesman.
The Virginia Department of Transportation expects to accomplish the same task by the end of 2018.
But while the states cite safety concerns after fatal crashes and independent testing, there are new indications the Federal Highway Administration is not yet convinced there's really a problem.
The X-Lite is made by the Nebraska-based Lindsay Corporation. It is one of several federally-approved brands of end terminals, the yellow and black striped metal assembly at the end of a guardrail which is designed to prevent a rail from piercing a vehicle in crash.
At the center of the polarized debate is a grieving and vocal East Tennessee father, a small-business owner-turned-activist who has proven he is willing to go to extraordinary measures to talk about the X-Lite terminal and the crash that killed his daughter.
“Everything pivots on November 1, 2016,” said Steve Eimers whose 17-year old daughter Hannah was killed in a crash that on Interstate 75 near her home in Lenoir City, Tennessee. “A guardrail went into the passenger part of the vehicle. That's not supposed to happen.”
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