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2009 Cable Median Barrier Report

Safety is a top priority for the Washington State Department of Transportation and the Washington State Patrol. We are encouraged by Washington's downward trend in traffic fatalities and the lowest number of traffic-related deaths since 1955. Enforcement, education and engineering solutions, such as cable median barrier, all play a role in reaching our goal of zero traffic-related fatalities and serious injuries by 2030.

The 2009 Cable Median Barrier Reassessment and Recommendations Update fulfills our commitment to keep monitoring the performance of cable median barriers for two years following the independent review and recommendations made by Dr. Malcolm Ray in 2007. Future reporting will occur in the department's Gray Notebook.

What’s in the 2009 report?

  • At the end of 2008, WSDOT had installed a total of 181 miles of cable median barrier on state highways and had another 9.6 miles under contract for installation.
  • The 2009 update confirms that cable median barrier is an effective strategy for reducing cross-median collisions and saving lives. For state highways, there is a 59 percent reduction in fatal and serious injury collisions. 
  • We give an update of WSDOT policy and action based on the recommendations made by Dr. Malcolm Ray in 2007. Research and development of cable barrier systems is ongoing and we will adopt as appropriate design guidance that reflects those developments.
  • We provide an update on the I-5 cable barrier location in Marysville. Construction on a median barrier project began in July 2009 and is expected to be completed by late 2010.
  • Looking ahead, we have projects planned to install cable barrier of segments of US 195, US 395, and State Route 8. In addition, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act provided funding that will allow WSDOT to place four-cable high-tension barrier system in locations where three-cable low-tension barrier exists.

Read or print the report: