DOTD Cable Barriers


Cable median barriers are a safety feature designed to deflect a vehicle that enters the median, keeping it from potentially crossing over into opposing traffic lanes. 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 median barriers are an innovative and usually a cost-effective solution to prevent head-on collisions that potentially result in fatalities.

As of February 2022, DOTD has installed approximately 623 miles of cable barriers throughout the state at an investment of approximately $93 million. Cable barriers are currently located along the following corridors:

  • I-10: East Baton Rouge, St. John, Ascension, St. James, Orleans, Jefferson, West Baton Rouge, Iberville, Calcasieu, Jefferson Davis, and St. Tammany parishes
  • I-12: St. Tammany and Tangipahoa parishes
  • I-20: Bossier, Webster, Caddo Bienville, Lincoln, Ouachita, Madison and Richland parishes
  • I-310: St. Charles parish
  • I-55: Tangipahoa parish
  • I-610: Orleans parish
  • I-59: St. Tammany parish
  • I-49: Caddo, Avoyelles, Evangeline and Rapides parishes
  • I-220: Caddo and Bossier parishes
  • LA 8: Vernon parish
  • LA 3132: Caddo
  • US 167: Rapides Parish
  • US 190: Lafourche, Terrebonne, and St. Tammany parishes

There are currently another 98 miles under construction along the US 90, I-210, I-10, and I-12 corridors. DOTD’s goal is to complete the installation of cable median barriers along the state’s rural interstate systems where feasible by the end of 2023.

In the end, nearly 731 miles of cable barriers will be installed across the following segments of state and federal roadways in Louisiana:

  • I-10
  • I-12
  • I-20
  • I-49
  • I-55
  • I-59
  • I-210
  • I-220
  • I-310
  • I-610
  • US 90
  • US 190
  • US 167
  • LA 8
  • LA 3132

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 1960’s, it was not until the 1980’s that some state DOTs started to implement a modified cable rail as a median barrier. In Louisiana, the use of cable barriers was first explored after a resolution was passed in the 2006 legislative session to look into the feasibility of installing this safety feature. As part of the 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-10 barriers were completed in late 2008, and I-12 barriers were completed in the fall of 2009.

Due to the success of these pilot projects, DOTD developed a cable median barrier program to systemically install cable median barriers on rural and high speed, fully controlled-access facilities where feasible, or at site-specific locations were warranted based on crash data.

Based on data from 2009 to 2013 following the first round of cable median barrier installations, there has been a 33% reduction in cross-median crashes for these segments. In terms of severity, cable median barriers have reduced fatal and serious-injury crashes by almost 30% and 20% respectively.

The cable barrier system is a testament to DOTD’s commitment to improving safety on Louisiana’s roadways.