Drivers in the state of Oklahoma could soon be seeing fewer guardrails on the side of the highway, as the Oklahoma Department of Transportation (ODOT) said it is planning to install more cable barriers.
The department said it plans on installing 10 miles of cable barriers, some of which is contracted to start in October. ODOT said cable barriers installed in the center median on divided highways have been effective in reducing the severity of crossover collisions, which is why the department is considering replacing guardrails with cables on two-lane highways.
ODOT said during highway motor-vehicle accidents, concrete barriers deflect most of the energy from the crash back to the vehicle, but cable barriers provide a softer impact and absorb more of it. Transportation officials in the state said the cable barriers also are easily fixed if they are hit. In Oklahoma City, officials said this situation occurs every day.
ODOT also indicated cable barriers are a more cost-effective solution, as their price sits around $170,000 per mile to install compared to the $600,000 it takes per mile for concrete barrier installation.