You asked - Where are median cables along I-94?Have you noticed that the safety cable in the center median of Interstate 94 doesn’t continue through Douglas County? One of our readers noticed and they want to know why.
By: Amy Chaffins, Alexandria Echo Press
Editor’s note: The following is an Echo Press feature called, “You Asked.” Readers are invited to send the newspaper a simple question and we’ll try to get to the bottom of it. Send questions to aedenloff@ echopress.com.
Have you noticed that the safety cable in the center median of Interstate 94 doesn’t continue through Douglas County?
One of our readers noticed and they want to know why.
Well, it’s a Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) territory thing. But the cables are coming to the local section of I-94.
Currently, a long stretch of cable median guard rail snakes along the center median of Interstate 94 from the Twin Cities through Todd County but it stops at the eastern edge of Douglas County. That’s in MnDOT’s District 3.
MnDOT District 4 begins at the Douglas County line and encompasses west central Minnesota from Alexandria to Moorhead.
The cable median will be installed along I-94 next spring, according to MnDOT District Traffic Engineer Tom Swenson.
He said the first segment of cable will be installed along a stretch that begins just east of Alexandria and extends about 10 miles west of town.
Next spring’s installation does not include the length of I-94 that runs through Douglas County.
The concentration of traffic volume and interchanges determines where the cables will be installed first.
“Personally, I’d like to put it all along the interstate, but [the Alexandria area is] the first stretch of I-94 in the district to get the cable. I’m happy that we’re getting going,” Swenson said.
The cable medians are effective in limiting vehicles from crossing over into oncoming lanes of traffic, Swenson said.
However, he also said there will likely be more vehicle property damage than before because vehicles sliding into the center ditch before could sometimes be driven out. Now, it’s likely more vehicles will hit the cable median.
“I guess that’s a trade-off that I’m willing to accept to reduce the severity of crashes,” Swenson said.
Approximately eight miles of safety cable will also be installed in the Moorhead area next summer, Swenson said.
It’s likely cable median will be installed in the Fergus Falls corridor sometime in 2014.
Eventually, Swenson said, he believes safety cable will be installed along the entire length of I-94 in MnDOT District 4.