The state plans to erect more than 20 miles of additional cable median barriers along Interstate 10 to prevent crossover accidents, including near the site where five people were killed in March, officials said Tuesday.
“This project will save lives,” said Sherri LeBas, secretary for the state Department of Transportation and Development.
The barriers are designed to deflect vehicles that enter the median, keeping them from crossing over into oncoming traffic.
The cost is $2.7 million in federal safety funds.
The additions will bring the total of cable median barriers on I-10 and I-12 to nearly 81 miles.
The new sites are:
- In East Baton Rouge Parish, one mile from the Highland Road on I-10 to the Ascension Parish line.
- In Ascension Parish, one mile south from the East Baton Rouge Parish line, 3.5 miles south from La. Hwy. 73 and 6.5 miles from La. Hwy. 22 to the St. James Parish line.
- 4.7 miles from the existing cable barrier in St. James and St. John parishes to the Reserve Relief Canal Bridge, then 3.3 miles to the Bonnet Carre Spillway.
- In Jefferson Parish, 2.5 miles from the St. Charles Parish line to Veterans Inter-change.
Earlier this year a mother and her three children and a second adult were killed on I-10 near Highland Road when a pickup truck crossed the median as it spun clockwise and struck a car head on.
In 2008 Grace Gary, 8, was killed on I-10 when she and her Baton Rouge family were re-turning from New Orleans on Palm Sunday.
An eastbound pickup truck crossed the I-10 median with-out braking and slammed into the Gary’s Honda Odyssey.
Mona Gary, who is Grace’s mother, was at the press con-ference and praised plans for the additional cable barriers.
She said her family recently traveled through St. James Par-ish and was heartened to see cable median barriers on I-10.
“There was a sense of security,” Gary said.
She said the additional barriers lessen chances that other families will experience what hers did.
LeBas said installation of the cable barriers will start next month and should be finished by spring.
Barriers will start going up in Jefferson Parish and move west toward Baton Rouge.
The cable costs about $200,000 per mile.
Sites are picked from a state analysis of vehicles crossing the median per mile, transportation officials said.