Median guard cables are now in place along I-70 across Missouri, and a recent Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT) study shows the barriers prevented vehicles from crossing the I-70 median 94% of the time in 2005.
"One of our most critical goals is to reduce the number of fatalities on Missouri roads," said MoDOT Director Pete Rahn. "Median guard cables have virtually eliminated crossover crashes on I-70, and have saved lives." The three-strand, low-tension median guard 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 is used where medians are less than 60-ft wide.
Between 1996 and 2005, more than 400 people were killed and more than 2,400 were injured in cross-median crashes on I-44, I-55 and I-70 in Missouri.
Prior to the placement of the median barriers on I-70, there were 24 fatalities involving crossover crashes reported in 2002. However in 2005, with the majority of guard cable installed along Missouri's busiest interstate, only six fatalities were reported, four of which occurred in locations without guard cable at the time.
"We are thrilled that guard cable installation is now complete along I-70 and look forward to I-44 and I-55 being completed in the future," said Lou Holtmann, director of Citizens for Safe Medians--a St. Louis-based, not-for-profit, median barrier advocacy group. "Missouri is leading the pack in getting this accomplished. We will continue to fully support MoDOT in its efforts to get these barriers up and save lives."
Now that I-70 median guard cable is complete, MoDOT will continue installation on the entire I-44 corridor and on I-29 between Kansas City and St. Joseph. Median guard cable is already present along I-435 in the Kansas City region, as well as I-44 and I-55 in the St. Louis region. Installation of 179 miles of median guard cable along I-70 cost $20.5 million.