New interstate cable barriers put to the test again; See pictures and previous dramatic video
HAMMOND – The state's effort to install cable barriers along all divided interstates and highways in Louisiana may have prevented another catastrophe Monday when the cables stopped an out-of-control semi from slamming into oncoming traffic in Tangipahoa Parish.
The 18-wheeler veered off I-12 near the Airport Road exit after lunch Monday, getting entangled in the cable system. The system slowed the truck and prevented it from crossing into traffic headed in the opposite direction on I-12.
“[The La. DOTD's] cable barrier prevented this from becoming a cross-over collision,” state police tweeted about the crash.
Troopers are on the scene of crash with an 18-wheeler on I-12 E/B near Airport Rd. in Hammond. @La_DOTD's cable barrier prevented this from becoming a cross-over collision. Alt routes include US 190 and LA 22. pic.twitter.com/4Pn8Ky16IA— LA State Police (@LAStatePolice) April 23, 2018
It was a significant test of the strength of the system – now lining hundreds of miles of highway across Louisiana. In the last two years, the state completed barriers along nearly every stretch of interstate in the Baton Rouge area. The final leg of the work was along I-10 in far western Iberville Parish between the Basin Bridge and Grosse Tete.
The cable barriers are much like ropes of a boxing ring. Once installed, contractors put tension on the cable, stopping most vehicles from crossing over.
Engineers had previously warned the barriers would slow but may not always completely stop a heavy vehicle such as a semi or an RV.
In 2015, cable barriers slowed an out-of-control RV from crossing into oncoming traffic on I-10. In that case, the RV's motion was slowed and the vehicle overturned as it slid along the barriers.
Video of the crash was recorded by a dashboard camera on an 18-wheeler.
Troopers said the video showed the cable barriers were able to stop a more horrific crash from happening.
"While not designed for heavy articulated vehicles like a motor home, the system was able to redirect a vehicle weighing over 20,000 pounds," the agency said at the time.
Troopers were just as thankful – if not more – Monday when the semi came to a complete stop. A picture provided by Louisiana State Police showed the cables bit into the truck's body as it held the truck from crossing the median.
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