Work to install more cable barriers along I-10 West will start on Monday night in an effort to make the interstate safer.
The first work will be between the start of the Basin Bridge and Grosse Tete. There are already more than a hundred miles of cable barriers on interstates in Baton Rouge and New Orleans. State Police said that the barriers have helped stop head-on crashes.
The project costs around $3 million, however the state says that it is priceless since lives are saved.
"All of a sudden, you're going 70 miles per hour and somebody comes flying across. You're not always prepared to have the proper reaction, they are coming out of nowhere. This prevents that and this will prevent any of those cross over accidents, and those are very dangerous and deadly, and these cable barriers will save lives," Rodney Mallett, of the Department of Transportation and Development, said.
The cable barriers are much like ropes of a boxing ring. Once they are installed, contractors put tension on the cable, so if a vehicle goes out of control it will not go into oncoming traffic.
The goal is to have cable barriers along most divided interstates and state highways.
"I was driving in the rain and I was driving very carefully, and safely and all of a sudden I hit something hydroplaned, spun, went across the median, came up on the other side and luckily I had time to reverse. If the cable barriers were there it would have stopped me, I would not have come up on the other side," Mallett said.
For the latest project, DOTD chose western Iberville Parish since the median design is ideal for the barriers. Future projects will focus on Lake Charles and Lafayette. The state says it could have money for those in 2018.
Near the Baton Rouge side of the Basin Bridge there will be nightly eastbound closures from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. starting on Monday, Dec. 19 and could end Thursday, Dec. 22.