ODOT Installing Cable Barriers on HWY 7 - KSWO, Lawton, OK- Wichita Falls, TX: News, Weather, Sports. ABC, 24/7, Telemundo -

ODOT Installing Cable Barriers on HWY 7

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COMANCHE CO., Okla_ Drivers going through Eastern Comanche County will soon have a safer ride on Highway 7.

Oklahoma Department of Transportation is putting up cable barriers in the median on a short stretch of the road. The cables are mounted on short posts, and their purpose is to prevent head-on crashes.

This project starts at the junction of State Highway 7 and State Highway 65.

The barriers will run four miles east to the county line. ODOT Engineer Jerry Harwell said they'll save lives.

"We have been putting them in a lot of the divided four lanes," Harwell said. "It started in the urban areas and has gradually worked out into the rural areas."

One local driver thinks these barriers will help, especially in the winter months.

"Lots of people go off the side of the road into the median or on the other side. You see multiple cars and trucks in the ditches in the winter time."

The project will cost almost $500,000 and is funded 100% by the Federal Highway Administration.

Another local driver doesn't think they are necessary.

"If they think we need to spend the money to do that, great. It's my tax money, and I've never seen a wreck. I've never seen anybody cross the median, and now you can't turn around if you're in an emergency."

Harwell agrees the cables can't prevent accidents, but the barriers will make it less likely that they are deadly. Harwell said the effectiveness of guard rails and barrier cables are about the same, but the cable barriers are easier to maintain and repair after they have been hit.

"The cable, once it is hit, generally there is no damage done to the cable," Harwell said. "The posts are knocked down, and they can come back in very easily and put in new posts."

Some of the first barrier cables in the nation were put in on Lake Hefner Parkway in Oklahoma City. After putting in the system, they saw a significant drop in head-on collisions. Harwell said the barrier cables should be in place within the next couple of weeks. He also believes they will eventually be extended on Highway 7 all the way to Highway 81 North of Duncan.

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