Cable barriers help protect Hoosier drivers

FILE - Photo from Jan. 22, 2014, shows the cable barriers along Interstate 65. (WLFI File Photo)
FILE - Photo from Jan. 22, 2014, shows the cable barriers along Interstate 65. (WLFI File Photo)

TIPPECANOE CO., Ind. (WLFI) It was an addition to Interstate 65 back in 2010 that INDOT Spokeswoman Debbie Calder said has helped save lives.

“That’s the reason INDOT is looking to install more of the cable barriers statewide,” said Calder.

Cable barriers like those on I-65 cover nearly 350 miles of interstate in Central Indiana. The structures help prevent accidents like the fiery crash Saturday from becoming any worse.

“If a vehicle crashes into those barriers, it’s designed to capture it between those wires and not allow them to cross into traffic traveling the opposite direction,” said Calder. “Therefore, preventing serious crashes and possibly even head-on collisions.”

The barriers are a fence made of high tension wires, strung between steel posts.

Built by the company Gibraltar near Austin, Texas, the barriers are designed to stop vehicles weighing up to 18,000 pounds.

“About 98 percent of vehicles that engage the system, are captured by the system,” said Gibraltar General Manager Ron Faulkenberry.

Faulkenberry said while the barriers aren’t designed to stop semi trucks, they have in the past.

He said Gibraltar has 15 million linear feet of cable barriers installed in America, with a good portion of it right here in the Hoosier state.

“We’ve got products on the ground in 32 states in the U.S. and Indiana is in our top 5 states,” said Faulkenberry.

Calder said it costs about $55,000 per mile to install the structures, but with safety in mind, she said it’s a cost that’s worth it.

“We’re looking to save Hoosiers lives and people traveling through the state on our interstate,” said Calder.

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