BOSSIER CITY, La. – Today, Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development (DOTD) Secretary Sherri H. LeBas participated in a groundbreaking ceremony to kick off the construction for an upcoming $4.1 million safety project to install cable median barriers along I-20. The project will install approximately 28 miles of cable median barriers in Bossier and Webster parishes. The ceremony was held at the Louisiana State Police Troop G headquarters, where LeBas was joined by state and local officials.
The safety project will install over 160 miles of cable barriers along I-20 from the Texas state line to the Mississippi state line; an investment of approximately $26.5 million. Work will begin in the fall and is scheduled to be complete in fall 2014.
"Enhancing the safety of Louisiana roadways continues to be my top priority," said Secretary LeBas. "DOTD is committed to highway safety and is continuously looking for innovative and cost-effective measures to help keep our citizens safe."
Cable barriers are designed to prevent head-on collisions by deflecting vehicles that veer into the median from crossing over into oncoming traffic. They act as a net to catch vehicles and redirect them into the median by not pushing vehicles back into traffic.
"Cable barriers are an effective way to ensure the safety along our interstate system," said Senator Robert Adley, senate chairman of the Transportation, Highway and Public Works Committee. "This project is another positive step toward making our roadways safer for the residents of Northwest Louisiana."
Senator Barrow Peacock said, "I commend DOTD for using the cable barrier system. It helps motorists arrive home safely every day."
"I know how important this safety initiative is for our area," commented Representative Henry Burns. "Keeping the families and motorists that travel along I-20 safe is top priority for everyone."
Representative Jeff Thompson added, "I support DOTD’s commitment to keeping Louisiana’s roads safe. This project will help to save lives along this stretch of I-20."
"Cable barriers, which are a mainstay along many interstate systems in the United States, are vital to prevent head-on crashes that result in many fatalities every year," said Representative Gene Reynolds. "In my travels in Louisiana, I have witnessed several crashes where vehicles have gone across the median and into the opposite lane. The best case scenario was to pass into the trees, and the worst case was a head-on crash. Cable barriers will definitely be a valuable safety device for our citizens."
Jimmy Cochran, Bossier Police Jury President said, "Many people’s lives, including my own, have been positively impacted by this safety feature. I am proud to be here today to support this project."
"I applaud DOTD for the continued to efforts to make Louisiana roadways safer," said Captain Tom Madden, Louisiana State Police Troop G Commander. "Law enforcement officers see first-hand the devastating effects crossover-related accidents have on both motorists and families."
Construction on the project will begin later this fall and is expected to take approximately a year to complete. In September, bids will be taken for the 28 mile cable barrier project in Caddo and Bienville parishes.
In addition to this project, Secretary LeBas discussed her three-year plan to install cable barriers on I-20 from Caddo to Ouachita parishes. To accomplish this goal, DOTD will use a combination of federal and state funding, with the majority being federal funding.
In the past several years, motor-vehicle fatalities in Louisiana have dropped to an all-time low, with a 32 percent reduction in highway fatalities since 2007. DOTD has spearheaded multiple initiatives, such as the installation of over 2,100 miles of center line rumble strips and roundabouts, as well as working on public awareness campaigns with federal safety partners and state and local law enforcement partners to discourage texting while driving and encourage motorists to buckle up.
After a resolution passed by the Louisiana legislature in 2006, DOTD has installed approximately 81 miles of cable barriers at an investment of approximately $11.8 million.
The cable barrier system is a testament to DOTD’s commitment to safety. Since their installation, there have been no incidents of vehicles breaking through the barriers and crossing the median.
The Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development (DOTD) is committed to delivering transportation and public works systems that enhance the quality of life. In addition to more than 16,600 miles of roadway, including over 930 miles of interstate and 13,000 bridges, DOTD supports the development of the state’s aviation, marine and rail infrastructures. Through this work, we are able to facilitate economic development, create job opportunities, improve vital evacuation routes, and make critical freight corridors safer and more efficient.
For more information, please visit www.dotd.la.gov, email email@example.com, or call DOTD’s Customer Service Center at (225) 379-1232 or 1-877-4LADOTD (1-877-452-3683). Business hours are 7:30 a.m. - 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.
Motorists can access up-to-date travel information by dialing 511 or by visiting www.511la.org. Out-of-state travelers can call 1-888-ROAD-511 (1-888-762-3511).