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www.wmfd.com - Saturday's accident on Interstate-71 in which a small car passed under a cable guardrail and hit a truck in the on-coming lane seemed very unusual. }}" />

ODOT Explains Decision To Use And Safety Of Cable Guardrail

Story By: Greg Heindel



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  Original Published: 1/22/2013

Saturday's accident on Interstate-71 in which a small car passed under a cable guardrail and hit a truck in the on-coming lane seemed very unusual.

It also raised questions about the safety of this new type on safety device in the median.

WMFD's Greg Heindel asked the Ohio Department of Transportation about the decision to install them along highways.

Ohio Department of Transportation District 3 Public Information Officer Christine Myers says the cable guardrails started being used a decade ago when an interstate in southern Ohio was widened to three lanes, making the median narrower.

Thirteen people were killed in the first year when vehicles crossed into the on-coming lane.

The cable rails are designed to snag a car and bring it to as gentle a stop as possible.

Myers says they work properly the vast majority of the time, but there have been instances where cars have passed underneath them and gotten into the on-coming lane.  

The Highway Patrol said the section of cable rail where Saturday's crash occurred was damaged in an accident several weeks ago, and had not been repaired.

Christine Myers showed us a work order detailing 18 segments of cable rail along I-71 that were repaired five days before the accident.

ODOT has no firm timetable for when the latest damage will be repaired, with crews busy keeping the roads clear from recent snowfalls, but Myers says it will be done as soon as possible. 

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