Thursday, April 8, 2010

Guard Cable in Mid-Missouri a Welcome Improvement

Good news for mid-Missouri as installation of median guard cable began today along Route 63 between Columbia and Jefferson City. In total MoDOT will spend $2.3 million to place the cable along the 25-mile route that more than 24,000 vehicles travel daily.

I have traveled this stretch of highway more times than I can count, and I am relieved to know guard cable will be coming to help improve safety by reducing crashes, injuries and fatalities. During bad weather, I’ve personally seen how effective cable is at stopping vehicles and this will be a wonderful improvement for everyone who travels this route.

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 60 feet wide or less.

MoDOT began using guard cable in 2002 on interstates 70 and 44 and has since installed more than 600 miles of cable in the medians of the state's busiest highways.

A study completed on Interstate 70 showed that guard cable succeeded in stopping cars from crossing into the opposing lanes of traffic more than 98 percent of the time. And, while guard cables are not designed to prevent large vehicles, such as tractor-trailers, from crossing the median, there have been numerous cases where the stretchable cable has kept large vehicles from entering the opposing lane of traffic.

One southbound lane of Route 63 will be closed to traffic during the work, which will take place between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. Crews will work on a four-mile stretch at a time, beginning at Route H in Boone County and working south to Callaway County.