U.S. 59 in Panola County to get safety cable system

U.S. 59 between Carthage and Marshall is pictured in this January 2019 file photo.

A new safety cable system designed to prevent vehicles from crossing medians on divided highways will be installed on U.S. 59 in Panola County, the Texas Department of Transportation said.

It’s one of six planned installations along U.S. 59 between the Arkansas state line and the Carthage Loop, TxDOT said. In Panola County, the cable system will span from the Harrison County line to Loop 149 in Carthage.

“The safety cable system has three to four strands of 3/4-inch high tension cable that are supported by metal posts. The cables are suspended up to 30 inches above the ground and are intended to catch vehicles in the median before they get into oncoming traffic,” said Wendy Starkes, area engineer for TxDOT in Marshall. “Although no system can prevent all crossover accidents, this new cable system looks very promising in preventing most and has been tested to hold back even a semi-truck when hit at a glancing blow.”

TxDOT said the cable system is more cost effective than common concrete median barriers and it also has more give, which TxDOT says will slow the vehicle down more gradually and is less likely to cause vehicles to ricochet back into traffic.

H.V. Caver Inc. of Atlanta, was awarded a $4.4 million contract for the project.

Work on the project is expected to begin in February 2021 and take about 18 months to complete, TxDOT said.

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