More Than $5 Million Approved For Cable Barriers

Monday, July 16th 2007, 12:34 pm
By: News On 6

On Monday, state lawmakers decided to pay more than $5 million to install cable barriers on certain stretches of Oklahoma highways, including some in Green Country. The News On 6’s Chris Wright reports the barriers are designed to prevent head-on, cross-over collisions.

Because of the sheer speed involved, Oklahoma Highway Patrol troopers describe cross-over collisions as especially gruesome.

One cross-over collision killed six people near Sand Springs last year.

"Speeds like that, 50 and 50 or 60 and 60, air bags and seat belts don't help much,” said Oklahoma Highway Patrol Trooper Jason Weilert. “It's just devastating."

The OHP believes new, cable barriers could significantly reduce the number of head-on highway accidents. The barriers are made of pre-stretched wire that is anchored to the ground. When a car veers off into a median and strikes the cables, they absorb the impact of the collision and hopefully prevent the car from crossing over.

ODOT says it has chosen to install the first set of barriers on the roads in Tulsa it has deemed to be the most dangerous. Assuming the project goes well, it then plans on installing them in areas all over Tulsa.

If you're in the median of an interstate, highway or U.S. highway, you're in trouble and you need help, no matter how safe that is or not. We feel like these are a great, great benefit to our travelers,” said Paul Green of ODOT.

ODOT expects to install the barriers on the five mile stretch of 169, from 244 to 66th Street north later this year. Cables will also go in on Highway 75, from 244 south to 81st Street, and on I-44 from Lewis to 41st Street south.

ODOT says the barriers certainly won't prevent every accident, but they are a big step towards safer highways.

"It's not a cure-all, but it's something above and beyond what we were able to do,” Green said.

ODOT says another benefit of the cable barriers is the cost. Concrete barriers are roughly ten times more expensive. These new cable barriers won't be the first in Oklahoma. Cables have been in place on the Hefner Parkway in Oklahoma City since 2001.

Watch the video: Cable Barriers Approved For Oklahoma Highways


The cable barriers will be installed in the following locations:

1. I-35 near Guthrie in Logan County from mile marker 152 extending
north for five miles at a cost of $463,000.

2. I-40 in Midwest City from Avenue “A” east for 11 miles to the
Pottawatomie County line at a cost of approximately $1.3 million.

3. I-44 in Oklahoma City from I-35 west to near Lincoln Blvd. at a cost
of approximately $493,000.

4. US-69 near McAlester, from the north side of US-270 north for five
miles at a cost of approximately $1.1 million.

5. I-40 in Pottawatomie County from the Oklahoma County line east for
13.15 miles to SH-18 at a cost of approximately $966,000.

6. I-40 east of Sallisaw in Sequoyah County two projects from mile
marker 311 to mile post 322 at a cost of approximately $1.8 million.

7. I-44 in Tulsa from Lewis Avenue to 41st Street South at a cost of
approximately $153,000.