Guard Rails

More than 100 lives have been saved with the installation of more than 600 miles of guard cable on Missouri busiest highways - Interstates 70, 44, 29, 35, 55 and 435 and Routes 36, 40 and 67.

Median guard cable, made of three strands of steel cable, is designed to "catch" a vehicle before it crosses into the opposing traffic lanes, bringing it to a stop before it hits other vehicles. It's generally used where medians are 60 feet wide or less.

Since the cable’s installation, cross-median fatalities have decreased on interstates from approximately 50 a year down to less than 10.

A study on Interstate 70 showed that guard cable helped stop cars from going into opposing lanes 94 percent of the time.

In 2002, with only limited miles of guard cable installed on I-70, there were 24 cross-median fatalities. In 2008, preliminary statistics show there was only one such fatality.

I-44 had 25 crossover deaths in 2006. That number dropped to zero in 2008 thanks to the guard cable.

The American Society of Civil Engineers cited the success of Missouri's median guard cables in reducing highway deaths in its 2009 Report Card for America's Infrastructure.

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