© 2023 KLCC

136 W 8th Ave
Eugene OR 97401

Contact Us

FCC Applications
Oregon's Willamette Valley seen from Eugene
NPR for Oregonians
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

After 2 Fatal Crossover Crashes, Oregon Expedites I-5 Cable Barrier Project


After two fatal crossover crashes on Interstate 5 in the past month, the State of Oregon is expediting a plan to add cable barriers to the unprotected medians.

Two people were killed September 24 in a crossover freeway crash in Salem. On October 23, a woman was killed north of Albany when her vehicle went across the grassy median, hitting a semi-truck. This prompted Oregon's Governor, John Kitzhaber and the Director of the Oregon Department of Transportation, Matthew Garrett, to call for an emergency bidding process to erect cable barriers along more than 40 miles of I-5. ODOT Communications Director Tom Fuller says they had planned to put out bids for the projects in February 2015, but that has been moved up to this week.

Fuller: "This will really allow us to close up an area that we've been wanting to do for several years and just didn't have the funding. Recently, funding became available and we started planning the projects, which is a good thing because those plans are now at a place where we can do an expedited contracting process and really get the work started quickly."

About 36 miles of cable barriers will go up in Linn County. Another 7 miles will be added in Salem. Fuller says cable barriers are less expensive than concrete ones. He adds they also are more forgiving in crashes and help slow and redirect the vehicle when hit. ODOT expects to select a contractor by November 5.

Angela Kellner is the KLCC host of All Things Considered and a reporter. Angela began as a KLCC volunteer in 1991 when she was in high school. While a student at Lane Community College, she was hired in 1993 for a work-study position in the KLCC Music Department and has been with the station in some role since then. Angela hosted KLCC's world music program Tropical Beat for 11 years from 1994 to 2005 and continues to fill in on a monthly basis.
Related Content