HENDRICKS COUNTY – Indiana Department of Transportation officials are confident the cable barriers along Interstate 70 in Hendricks County on Thursday prevented more serious injuries during the massive crash.
The state has been investing in the barriers since 2005.
“No vehicles actually crossed through the median so the cable barriers did their job,” said Debbie Calder, an INDOT spokesperson.
INDOT began testing the barriers in 2005 along sections of the interstate where there were frequent high-speed, head-on collisions.
“The end anchors go down into the ground between 12 to 15 feet, and each pole goes down into the ground about three and a half feet,” said Calder.
The results of the installation on I-65 between Zionsville and Lebanon were as INDOT had hoped. The barriers were hit 69 times in the first eight months, and at no time did any car or truck pass through the barrier. There were no serious injuries as a result, and at least one semi truck was stopped.
“It definitely seems a lot safer. I would feel safer on the road,” said Aaron Grady, an Indianapolis driver.
But the added safety comes at a cost. INDOT has already spent around $30 million installing more than 340 miles of cable barriers. Each additional mile sets them back an estimated $55,000.
“The main thing: watch the cars. The cars cut you off,” said James Ferguson, a truck driver out of Chicago.
Ferguson said that’s especially important when the weather limits visibility and makes the asphalt slippery.
“One thing we’ve heard back from law enforcement officers and people who have been involved in the crashes is that they’re highly effective, and they realize it did help and probably saved them from a more serious accident,” said Calder.
Additional plans to install the barriers that Calder said are less expensive to repair after a crash are being discussed.