AHTD: New cable median barriers to make highways safer

LITTLE ROCK, AR – Wednesday, the Arkansas Highway and Transportation Department announced Arkansas’ highways will soon have nearly four-hundred miles of new cable median barriers, in part, to prevent deadly crossover accidents.

Over the next three years, the state will get ten times the cable barriers it has right now. The goal is to prevent crossover crashes.

“Those are extremely deadly accidents unfortunately. A median cable barrier is a relatively simple fix for that type of accident,” says Randy Ort with AHTD.

The Highway Department tells us one stretch of Arkansas highway saw fatalities drop from ten in three years to zero in the three years after barriers went up.

Arkansas only has 37 miles of cable median barriers as of right now and has 68 miles under construction.

398 new miles of barriers will go up in the next three years.

“We’re just beginning our interstate rehabilitation program. This was passed by the voters in November of 2011. As we do the Interstate work in certain areas of the state, we’re now going to install these cable barriers at the same time,” says Ort.

This project comes with a $74-million price tag, but Federal Aid Safety Funds will cover the cost with a state match.

Bids to install the first 92 miles of cable barriers will accepted next month. You will start seeing them go up early next year.

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