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DOT: No plans to switch median barriers after huge I-5 pileup

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SEATTLE (AP) — The Washington Department of Transportation says it has no immediate plans to reevaluate the use of cable median barriers along a stretch of Interstate 5 in Mount Vernon, where a dump truck carrying gravel plowed into oncoming traffic over the weekend.

Some 27 vehicles were involved in the accident Saturday, when the truck crashed through the median and hit traffic that had been backed up while police investigated a fatal double-shooting.

Investigators believe the dump truck driver may have had a medical condition that caused the crash. Seven people were injured, at least one critically.

The state has replaced some cable barriers with concrete ones over the years, notably on a stretch north of Everett where the cable barriers had failed to prevent cross-over collisions.

But agency spokesman Travis Phelps says there are no barriers designed to withstand a crash of such magnitude.

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3 comments

  • Chris

    Were there people who assumed the cable barriers, which barely came up the height of a semi’s bumper, would stop a semi truck at freeway speeds?

  • BearTex3

    Not even the concrete Jersey Barriers will stop a dump truck or semi that is going at traffic speed. You know how many truck have gone over the walls. Do you know how many cars for that matter have gone over the walls. Nothing is ever going to stop everything all the time, unless you build a 5+ foot wall and do you know how much that will cost. For that matter, changing out the cable to install a jersey wall is going to cost the tax payers a grip of money. Cables are effective and they are cheaper. That is what is looked at before anything else.

  • totalsense

    When they first started putting those in I told that idiot in the House that they were a waste of money and dangerous. She kicked me out of her office when I asked her which of her buddies was profiting from them.