Transportation Minister Luke Ouellette said new median barriers on Hwy 2 have proven effective in trapping wayward vehicles and stopping them crossing the highway.
“It acts like a spider web,” said Ouellette on Wednesday, after announcing his department will spend $8.2 million installing post-and-cable barriers on a 124-km of highway between Red Deer and Airdrie. A 3.5 km trouble-prone section near Leduc will also get the barriers.
Ouellette said the decision to install the barriers is all about safety. They have already been in place along a 10-km stretch the Deerfoot Trail and have proven their worth. Since they were installed in 2007, no vehicles have crashed through the barriers into opposing traffic.
“Hwy 2 is one of the safest highways in Alberta,” said the Innisfail-Sylvan Lake MLA. “(However) when you do have a collision it’s usually a bad one because of the speeds and the number of cars.”
Work is already underway and the project is expected to be completed by mid-June, depending on weather.
The barrier system includes collapsible posts threaded with flexible steel cables.
When an out-of-control vehicle slams into the barrier it is trapped.
The cable system also causes fewer injuries because they are more forgiving than traditional steel guardrail or concrete barriers.
Ouellette said there are no immediate plans to extend the barriers from Red Deer to Edmonton. “We’ll probably test these for a while first.”