Below are letters WSDOT has received since installation of the new cable median barrier:
From a Portland resident May 11, 2006
One of your Department staff saved my life today and I wanted to say thanks.
I was driving south on I-5 near MP 221 when a car in the northbound lanes bumped another car, lost control, swerved, flipped, and slid down the highway on its roof. It was headed directly for my vehicle when 3 small cables stopped it, and sent it skidding down its own lane. After we were all done getting the driver out, directing traffic, talking to the police, and shaking- I looked at the barrier. A couple of the posts were pulled loose, but they had not pulled out even when hit at high speed by a sliding car.
So who do I thank? The folks who pushed for a budget to install the barrier? The engineer who designed it? The project manager who inspected the work to make sure it was done right? The man or woman who dug the hole to the right depth, and put the pole and cable in the right way to stop the car? I don't know- so I wanted to say thanks to all of you for saving my life today. You make a difference, and I wanted you to know it.
From a Tukwila resident July 6, 2006
This morning, Thursday 7/6/06 at approximately 7:30 a.m. a car spun out of control right behind me on southbound SR 599 in front of the SCL power station. The driver went over the fog line in the right lane, crossed both southbound lanes of traffic and ended up against the new wire median. She was probably going fast enough that she could have gone into the northbound lanes if the median hadn't of been there. She did get out of the car and seemed ok. I waited until the Police arrived.
One week after those medians have been installed and they have already saved lives. Please thank everyone involved who campaigned to get the medians put in place. I'm still shaking and extremely thankful.
From an Everson trucking company June 29, 2006
On Wednesday June 28 our company had 2 dump trucks heading north on I-5 and a car traveling south lost control and ended up smashing into the cable barrier. If the cable was not there the car would have hit head on with one of the trucks. The driver of the dump truck was very thankful for the cable. Just wanted to pass that on.
From a Skagit County resident June 12, 2006
You and your department should be thanked for the guardrail installation between the north and southbound lanes of I-5, especially south of the Starbird Road exit #218. I live to the west of I-5, on Pacific Hwy, in Skagit County. Yesterday, I heard a long, loud screeching of tires that seemed to be coming from the road directly in front of our house. I ran to the window and saw northbound traffic on I-5 coming to a stop.
I ran out the door, into my husband as he was coming into the house. We ran to the barbed wire fence line that separates Pacific Hwy from I-5. People were getting out of a mid-sized car, one of them carrying a baby in a car seat. It was difficult to know which of the people were involved in the accident and which were the people stopping to assist. Once a volunteer fireman arrived and got into his fireman jacket, people seemed to be satisfied help had arrived.
The passengers from the accident vehicle huddled in the median between north and southbound lanes. It was a few minutes before the aid truck, ambulance, fire truck and then the State Patrol arrived.
Everyone watching from our side of the road have decided that it might have been an injury accident, or worse, had it not been for that wonderful guardrail. The ambulance went back to its station, empty. A newspaper photographer, on the scene with us, turned our attention to the fact that 5 posts had been taken out and that the guardrail did what it was meant to do, remain in tact.
Again, thank you so much for the guardrail. It may have been the one thing that saved lives yesterday.
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