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On our front page this week


  • UDOT will pursue funding to install cable barriers on stretch of I-15


By Myrna Trauntvein
Times-News Correspondent

A quick response was received from UDOT (Utah Department of Transportation) following a request made in person to Utah’s Lt. Governor Spencer Cox.

“Most of you are aware that there have been a couple of accidents where an errant vehicle rolled off the southbound freeway,” said Mayor Mark Jones.

One of those ended up in the backyard of Nephi City Police Chief Michael Morgan’s residence.

When the Governor was here with the initiative campaign to build 25,000 jobs throughout rural Utah in the next four years, said Jones, Chief Morgan spoke to Lt. Governor Cox and asked him to talk to UDOT about the problem.

The Lt. Governor then delegated the concern to UDOT.

“On September 26, the chief received a letter from TeriAnne S Newell, P.E., UDOT Region Three Director, stating that UDOT would pursue funding to install a cable barrier system,” said Jones.

“The Lt. Governor’s office has asked that I respond to your recent letter regarding traffic concerns in the Nephi area along I-15 with regard to vehicles leaving the interstate roadway, in particular southbound between 1000 North and 700 North,” said Newell in her letter of response to Morgan.

“In your letter you referenced/requested some type of barrier be installed to assist in the redirection of errant vehicles,” she said.

“In consideration of this request we will pursue funding to install a cable barrier system on the southbound shoulder in this area similar to that which is in place southbound from 700 North toward the Salt Creek interchange,” wrote Newell. “This will be from milepost 226.3 to milepost 225.85.”

There were no deaths in the accidents, said Jones, but the danger was very real. Someone could have been struck by an errant vehicle and killed or a home could have been hit by one of the errant vehicles.

“We will look forward to having the cables installed,” said Jones.

While the cables will not prevent vehicles from leaving the freeway, he said, they should redirect the vehicles from ending up in someone’s yard.

Traffic barriers are often installed at the roadside to prevent errant vehicles from traversing slopes and can also be used to protect vulnerable areas like school yards, neighborhoods, pedestrian zones, and fuel tanks.

Barriers are also designed to minimize injury to vehicle occupants. They consists of steel wire ropes mounted on weak posts. The primary purpose is to prevent a vehicle from leaving the traveled way. Cable barriers function by capturing and/or redirecting the errant vehicle.

Because these barriers are relatively inexpensive, as opposed to concrete barriers, to install and maintain and are very effective at capturing vehicles, their use is becoming increasingly prevalent.