It happens all too often, a driver loses control and the vehicle shoots into the median. Earlier this week, a deadly 18-wheeler crash served as a reminder of that danger. And that realization is not new for the Department of Transportation and Development.
DOTD’s Deidra Druilhet says following a recent study, part of Interstate-10 that runs through Acadiana will soon have barriers. “We plan to install about 41 miles of cable median barriers going all the way from Lafayette Parish to Acadia Parish,” said Druilhet.
So, why cable barriers and not concrete? Druilhet says it all depends on lane width, median size, and elevation. She says cable is a particularly effective deflector.
“The material that’s used for these barriers is a very stable material, so it basically absorbs that collision like a sponge,” said Druilhet. Each mile costs between $125,000 and $150,000. To date, they’ve installed 81 miles of cable barriers between Baton Rouge and New Orleans and will include barriers along interstates 10, 12, 20 and 55. So far, they’ve proved to be a lifesaver.
“Since we’ve installed cable median barriers, we have not had a single incident where a vehicle has crossed the cable into oncoming traffic,” said Druilhet. The median cable project in Acadiana will begin summer 2015.
DOTD’s end goal is to install 330 miles of cable barriers along all interstate highways across the state, over the next three fiscal years.