Nevada's First Cable Median Barrier Lines Up for Duty
Nevada Department of Transportation Contractor Bulletin, Jan. 31, 2008
NDOT has installed Nevada's first cable median barrier south of Carson City to help prevent head-on traffic fatalities.
The nine miles of cable barrier was installed on US 395 between Carson City and Minden. Consisting of three steel cables strung along a row of posts in the median of the 4-lane highway, the barrier is designed to prevent head-on collisions and provide more give than concrete if struck.
"The idea is that the rail catches any misguided vehicles like a net, redirecting them in the median area and preventing a head-on collision," NDOT Principal Road Design Engineer Casey Conner explained.
In addition, the cables can help diffuse some of the crash impact felt by vehicle occupants. The high-tension cable design also requires less repair and maintenance than traditional guardrail if struck by a vehicle. The cable's ability to allow proper roadside drainage in the water-rich agricultural area was another reason for its installation in the vicinity.
Work on the $1.7 million project, performed by Coral Construction, is one component of short and long-range improvements recommended for US 395 south of Carson City in NDOT's recently released US 395 corridor study. It also is one of the most immediate and cost-effective safety methods recommended in Nevada's Strategic Highway Safety Plan. Similar cable barriers are being installed on the Carson City Freeway.