Missouri installs guard cables to save lives on interstates

| 4/29/2005

Construction along Missouri’s interstates is designed to keep the state’s drivers from crossing the line – literally.

The Missouri Department of Transportation is planning to install guard cable in the medians along 437 miles of interstate highway within the state. The $50 million project came to be after a pilot program in Warren County eliminated all deaths caused by vehicles crossing the middle of the roadway and hitting other vehicles, DOT officials said.

Steve Porter, spokesman for the Missouri DOT, said the department is currently in the planning stages of adding the cables along Interstate 29 between Kansas City, MO, and St. Joseph, MO.

“It is part of a statewide project to place these guard cables in the medians of all interstates not already divided by either ample right of way or concrete barriers,” Porter said.

According to a DOT press release, Missouri’s older interstates were built before current median restrictions came into play, leaving only approximately 40 feet between the lanes.

Porter said he hopes the guard cables will help save lives until the roads can be rebuilt with wider medians.

According to reports in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, more than 375 people have been killed and more than 2,200 injured by cars crossing the median in Missouri in the last decade.