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Missouri Department of Transportation

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MoDOT News Release 

For more information contact Jeff Briggs at 573-751-5985.

March 10, 2008 12:00 AM
Median Guard Cable Virtually Eliminating Crossover Deaths on Missouri Interstates
Fatalities Down From 55 to 2, New Numbers Show

JEFFERSON CITY - Median guard cable on Missouri's busiest interstate highways is virtually eliminating highway crossover deaths, according to new numbers released today by the Missouri Department of Transportation. Statistics for 2007 show only two crossover fatalities at cable locations, compared to 55 the year before cable was installed.

Nearly 500 miles of guard cable was installed from 2004 to 2006 in medians of the state's busiest highways, where congested, high-speed traffic was resulting in vehicles crossing medians and colliding head-on with vehicles going in the other direction. Median guard cable, made of three strands of steel cable, is designed to "catch" a vehicle before it crosses into the opposing traffic lanes, bringing it to a stop before it collides with other vehicles. It's generally used where medians are less than 60 feet wide.

"Median guard cable is an amazing success story for Missouri," said MoDOT Director Pete Rahn. "We expected the cables to improve safety numbers, but seeing these results was an unexpected thrill for all of us. In just the first year after this safety improvement, 53 more people are safe at home with their families."

Interstate 70 across the state received median guard cable in 2004 and 2005. Last year there was only one crossover fatality on I-70, compared to 23 in 2003, the year before guard cable was installed.

Interstate 44 across Missouri received the cables in 2006. There was one crossover fatality on I-44 in 2007, compared to 25 in 2005.

Interstate 29 from Kansas City to St. Joseph received the cables in 2006, and fatalities are down along that stretch from six in 2005 to zero in 2007.

Cables were also recently installed on I-55 south of St. Louis, where crossover fatalities dropped from one to zero.

To build on this success, MoDOT will add two additional stretches of median guard cable in 2008 - 45 miles on I-55 from north of Cape Girardeau to Sikeston, and 55 miles on Route 67 south of St. Louis, from Festus to Fredericktown.

 

Visit our Newsroom site for images of guard cables in action.

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