DOTD Cable Barriers

IMPORTANCE OF CABLE BARRIERS

Cable barriers are a safety feature designed to deflect a vehicle that enters the median, keeping it from potentially crossing over into oncoming traffic. They are designed to absorb the impact of the collision and hold a vehicle in the median, not pushing the vehicle back into traffic.

Cable barriers are an innovative and cost-effective solution to prevent fatalities. They help to prevent collisions by deflecting vehicles that veer into the median and by stopping them from crossing over into oncoming traffic.

As of July 2017, DOTD has installed approximately 230 miles of cable barriers throughout the state at an investment of approximately $30 million.
  • I-10: East Baton Rouge, St. John, Ascension, St. James- approximately 36 miles
  • I-10: Jefferson and Orleans:  approximately 5 miles
  • I-10: Orleans approximately 9 miles
  • I-12: St. Tammany - approximately 33 miles
  • I-12: Tangipahoa- approximately 19 miles
  • I-20: Bossier, Webster, Caddo Bienville 57 miles
  • I-20: Madison, Richland Approximately 60 miles
  • I-610: Orleans - approximately a 0.25 miles
  • La. 8: Vernon - approximately 0.65 miles
  • I-10: Orleans - approximately 11 miles

There are currently another 46 miles under construction along the I-20 corridor at an investment of approximately $9.2 million. In addition to 65 miles along I-55 Tangipahoa at a cost of $7.2 million, 10 miles along La. 3132 at a cost of $1.6 million, 16 miles along I-220 in Caddo/Bossier for $1.3 million, 41 miles on I-49 in Caddo/DeSoto for $5.7 million and 3 miles on I-310 in St. Charles for $600,000.

Our goal is to install cable barriers along all of our interstate highways over the next three fiscal years.

In the end, nearly 508 miles of cable barriers will be installed across the following LA, US and Interstate systems:

  • I-10 and I-12

  • I-20 corridor

  • I-49

  • I-55 and I-59

  • I-210

  • I-220

  • I-310

  • US 90 and 190

To accomplish this goal, DOTD will use a combination of federal and state funding, with the majority being federal funding.

Although cable barriers have been used since the 1960s, it was not until the 1980s that some State DOTs started implementing a modified cable rail as a median barrier. 

HISTORY OF CABLE BARRIERS IN LOUISIANA

The need for a cable barrier system arose from the 2006 legislative session when a resolution was passed to look into the feasibility of installing this safety feature.

As part of a pilot study, the first two areas to receive cable median barriers were along the entire length of I-12 in St. Tammany Parish (32 miles) and along the entire length of I-10 in St. James Parish (6.8 miles). Project costs were $5.3 million and $1.3 million respectively. I-12 barriers were completed in fall 2009 and I-10 barriers were completed in late 2008.

In 2010, DOTD accepted bids on a $2.5 million project to install cable median barriers on I-12 throughout the entire length of Tangipahoa Parish and on I-10 from the St. John Parish line to the Hope Canal (19.5 miles). Work on the St. John portion of the project began in fall 2010 and was completed in January 2011. Work on the Tangipahoa portion began in late 2010 and finished in September 2011.

DOTD performs analyses on all interstates throughout Louisiana to determine where cable median barriers would be most beneficial in preventing cross-over collisions. The criteria used are number of vehicles crossing the median per mile.

The cable barrier system is a testament to DOTD’s commitment to safety. Since the first set of cable barriers were installed in late 2008, there have been no incidents of vehicles breaking through the barriers and crossing the median.