Life-saving barriers to be constructed on dangerous parts of I-565

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT)-- Life-saving cable barriers are coming to parts of I-565 in Limestone County that right now, have no crossover protection.

What are cable barriers? It's possible you've seen them before, and just passed them by going 70 miles per hour, without a second thought.

"It's a tense steel wire that's mounted on weak posts. When it's struck, the posts give out. The wire, however, sort of catches the vehicle," explained Seth Burkett, the Alabama Department of Transportation North Region's Public Information Specialist.

There are already metal barriers and concrete barriers on portions of I-565, but there are parts without any. Those are the parts that will soon be put in, starting next week.

Contractor RMD Holdings, Inc., will be working throughout the summer on a $663,087 project to construct a cable barrier in the median of I-565 from near Interstate 65 to the beginning of the concrete barrier east of Mooresville and from the end of the concrete barrier west of County Line Road to the Madison Boulevard flyover in Huntsville.

The DOT says a total of 46,328 ft. of four-wire cable barrier will be installed on more than eight miles of interstate.

It's all about safety for ALDOT. This is a project they expect to be life-saving, eliminating or at least reducing the amount of crossover crashes on that stretch of road.

Those types of crashes can be three times more dangerous than other interstate crashes, Burkett explained. "Just due to the speeds, and the fact that the vehicles often hit head-on when they travel into oncoming traffic," he said, "makes for a dangerous mix."

He added that these cable barriers are known to be effective.

“Cable barriers have shown to be effective in preventing most median crossover crashes,” he said. “On stretches of interstate in Alabama where cable barriers have been installed, they have eliminated crossover collisions resulting in serious or fatal injuries.”

Be on the lookout for construction crews from 6 AM to 6 PM starting Tuesday. You should expect single-lane closures on the interstate during those times, except during peak travel times. No eastbound lane closures are planned from 7 to 9 a.m.  No westbound lane closures are planned from 4 to 6 p.m.

A separate project will install cable barrier on parts of I-65 in Limestone County this summer. Burkett said it would start in the Belle Mina area and go up through US-31 in Athens.