The Delaware Department of Transportation (DelDOT) is in the process of installing cable barriers along 23 miles of Route 1 between North Dover and Odessa, in the wake of a collision in that same area that killed five members of a New Jersey family last week.
This planned installation of cable barriers was approved 5 months ago, and the estimated $4 million dollar project is currently in the planning and design stage according to DelDOT communications director C.R. McLeod.
“Over the past several years, DelDOT has already been working to install some of these high-tension cable barriers along Route 1 in identified areas, such as curves, areas where we have smaller medians and areas where we’ve also had previous accidents occur. So, this is something that has been part of our strategic effort,” McLeod said.
McLeod says the stretch of northbound Route 1 where last Friday’s fatal crash killed 61-year-old Audie Trinidad of Teaneck, New Jersey and his four daughters and left his wife seriously injured has a grassy-median that’s 60-feet wide. Their minivan was hit by an F-350 pickup truck that crossed that median into the northbound lanes from the southbound lanes.
McLeod says the high-tension cables serve to deflect vehicles from crossing medians and into oncoming traffic.
“Really the purpose is that it helps absorb the impact of the vehicle striking it and helps to slow it down,” said McLeod.
McLeod says 11.5 miles of cable barrier will be installed this year on Route 1 from south of Middletown to Odessa and Smyrna. After that, another 12 miles of cable barrier between Smyrna and North Dover will be erected.
High-tension cable barriers have already been constructed on other areas of Route 1, I-495 and Route 273.