Governor Kitzhaber and ODOT Director expedite cable barrier installations
Governor John Kitzhaber, in consultation with ODOT Director Matthew Garrett, today ordered ODOT to move up plans to install cable barriers on sections of Interstate 5 medians between Salem to Albany. It’s a project designed to reduce the number of crossover freeway crashes.
ODOT had planned to put out bids for the two projects beginning this February. But after consulting with the Governor, the department decided to implement an emergency procurement process and now expects to complete the work much sooner. Recent storms, bringing heavy rainfall in these areas, contributed to two recent crossover fatalities.
“Extreme conditions call for extreme measures,” said Garrett. “Safety has always been and will always be our top priority. We will work diligently with our construction partners to see this project completed as soon as humanly possible.”
Next week ODOT will contact contractors who have constructed cable barriers for the department in the past. The department expects to receive bids back from those contractors by the end of next week. The goal is to select a contractor by Wednesday, Nov. 5.
The department’s goal is for construction to begin by mid-November.
Some facts about cable barriers compared to concrete barriers:
* Softer hit – lower energy impact, generally fewer injury crashes or less severe injury crashes.
* Less expensive to purchase and install, allowing more coverage.
* Easier to repair and restore to effectiveness after an impact.
* Better in snow because its open design prevents drifting snow along the roadway.
* Requires little or no drainage modifications.